Research confirms what many parents instinctively feel when they donít like to spank their child, but they donít know what else to do. The latest research from Dr. Murray Strauss at the Family Research Laboratory affirms that spanking teaches children to use acts of aggression and violence to solve their problems. It only teaches and perpetuates more violence, the very thing our society is so concerned about. This research further shows that children who have been spanked are more prone to low self-esteem, depression and accept lower paying jobs as adults. So, what do you do instead?
– Get Calm
First, if you feel angry and out of control and you want to spank or slap your child, leave the situation if you can. Calm down and get quiet. In that quiet time you will often find an alternative or solution to the problem. Sometimes parents lose it because they are under a lot of stress. Dinner is boiling over, the kids are fighting, the phone is ringing and your child drops the can of peas and you lose it. If you canít leave the situation, then mentally step back and count to ten.
– Take Time For Yourself
Parents are more prone to use spanking when they havenít had any time to themselves and they feel depleted and hurried. So, it is important for parents to take some time for themselves to exercise, read, take a walk or pray.
– Be Kind, But Firm
Another frustrating situation where parents tend to spank is when your child hasnít listened to your repeated requests to behave. Finally, you spank to get your child to act appropriately. Another solution in these situations is to get down on your childís level, make eye contact, touch him gently and tell him, in a short, kind but firm phrase, what it is you want him to do. For example, ďI want you to play quietly.”
– Give Choices
Giving your child a choice is an effective alternative to spanking. If she is playing with her food at the table ask- “Would you like to stop playing with your food or would you like to leave the table?Ē If the child continues to play with her food, you use kind but firm action by helping her down from the table. Then tell her that she can return to the table when she is ready to eat her food without playing in it.