Like with all things in life there are easy ways to do things and then there is the hard way. Most of the time taking the easy way out will save you time now but end up being something you regret later on and you almost always wish you had put the work in to begin with to avoid a problem later on.
That is exactly what spanking is, taking the easy way out! It is a parents go to, sure thing that will stop the behavior they dislike immediately upon implementing it. Sure it works right now, but much like most situations in life, there are consequences to our taking short cuts and if we don’t put in the hard work, we will not reap it’s rewards.
There are may ways to discipline without spanking but they take a little more work because you have to have rules and punishments in place so that when a rule has been broken it is clear what will happen next.
Your child needs to know their boundaries and you need to follow through with punishment each and every time. If you only punish when it is convenient for you, your child will never learn the rules and will most likely act as though their are no consequences for their bad behavior.
Sometimes we are so busy as parents, running errands, talking on the phone, checking our email, that we are almost not even there. Our children see us in the room but we are not present. They begin to feel as though they are invisible and sometimes they kind of are.
We need to be present and if that means when you are on the phone, even during an important call you need to correct the behavior. Whether that is a look, a wag of your finger, or maybe even a note that you have pre-written for times like these, something needs to happen right now.
If your child acts out most when you are on the phone set up a system that you can use for times like these because if it has happened before it is most likely to happen again. Your children see that you are pre-occupied and may take advantage without the fear of any consequences.
Write out a note that says something as simple as I am busy, but you are breaking the rules, go sit in your room until I get off the phone, and we will discuss your punishment then.
Think about times like these and prepare yourself to deal with these situations as they happen. The punishment has to be firm and consistent. Here are a few suggestions that may help depending on the age of your child choose which works best for you.
- Taking away a toy-This can be for as long as you see appropriate, 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, but stick to it!)
- Taking away dessert- This is a double win for us parents because we are teaching a valuable lesson while making a positive change for our child’s overall health at the same time.
- No Television- Sometimes this is avoided because letting your child watch a television show can be the only half hour of the day that you actually get a break. This is where some of the hard work comes in but it will pay off over time.
- Earlier Bedtime- This will no doubt pay off for you immediately, you will get a little more time to yourself tonight!
Think about what your child values most and what they spend most of their free time doing, this is the clear choice for something they will not want to lose.
One the flip side, when your child shows they are trying to behave and working extra hard at earning their privileges back, a simple reward will not go unnoticed.
Offer a reduced punishment if you feel they have earned it but don’t go back on your original plan!
If you constantly give in to your child, they will walk all over you because you taught them that they can get what they want, even if they don’t follow the rules.