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What are some ways to discipline my child without "spanking"?

21 Answers
Last Updated: 08/30/2021 at 1:15pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Monique Thompson, LPC, LPC-S

Licensed Professional Counselor

I am in my 21st year as a psychotherapist. I have worked with over 3, 000 people over the course of my career.

Top Rated Answers
February 20th, 2016 4:35am
Depending on the age depends on the best method. That and you know your child best. Sometimes a time out where you can keep an eye on them (sit on the couch with no tv) is a good way to handle it, and sometimes a child will become too emotional for that. The best thing to do is to learn what their currency is and make sure they get plenty of it while they are behaving that they wouldn't want to lose it when they misbehave.
July 28th, 2015 12:20am
Time outs work well. Also rewarding good behavior and not the bad behavior. Taking away something they love until they make up for the disproved action.
May 24th, 2016 7:16pm
Letting them know that when you do "this bad thing" you will no longer be able to do "these fun things" if they are old enough to understand that. Children love to be free and have fun so for them the worst punishment isn't always spanking sometimes it's not being able to do the things they love. Most times, that is the best way to get through!
January 23rd, 2017 7:37pm
Get their undivided attention, get on their level (not hovering over them), talk to them calmly, and tell them what they did wrong and ask them what they could have done differently. Repeat x2. If the problem persists, find other things the child can do to redirect their pent up energy.
June 2nd, 2018 7:53am
Having time outs work wonders! Explaining why they are in time out, helps the child understand. Praising their good behaviour will make them think that if they do something naughty, they won’t get the reward - they’ll get the time out! :)
January 24th, 2015 9:23pm
Position, my mother had us stand on a wall with our arms out almost as if we were sitting in a chair
January 26th, 2015 2:58am
Use words,not too harsh words.But words that will make them understand.Understand what you're trying to tell them.We don't want a crying child do we?
May 11th, 2015 3:16pm
Well, you can put them in time out, take away things they like to play with or use, Ground or restrict them from going to a friends. etc.
August 17th, 2015 1:40pm
I am 100% against using any physical force against a child, there is always the option of taking away something they enjoy such as television during the week. The best way that I have seen and believe is to start an early age of properly teaching them right from wrong while giving them the explanations as to why so they can understand and not want to do what is wrong.
January 25th, 2016 9:16pm
Letting them make the mistakes instead and making them come to terms with consequences make it stand
February 22nd, 2016 6:13am
Don't give a lecture. Just don't. We children have short attention spans. Trust me. Be kind and use reverse psychology. In a way, dont restrict too much of anything. Use summer school if they dont like summer school as a way to follow through. Discipline needs to go for independence. Teach them the reality and independence or else forever, they won't learn for sure with restrictive manner. -summer school -extended homework periods -cut of money (good for teaching about work life. dont do good job, get cuts) -cut their use on wifi during homework time. If needed, send them to the library to do that. Old school works perfectly. -trust them.
October 11th, 2016 5:06am
I personally don't think spanking is 100% a bad way to discipline children, but I think it should be the very last resort. The first thing I would do is to understand, and think from my child's point of view why would she want to make the mistake she made. I would kneel or squat down to my child's height, look into her eyes and ask "Why?" in a soft and concern manner. Encourage her to speak out, if I feel there's more to it, I will keep asking questions in a non pushy way. I think this way you can gain the trust of your child. Then explain to the child why is it unacceptable to commit the mistake. If the child doesn't understand, then use her/him as an example to the situation and ask how would the child feel. It's more reasoning and accepting the reasoning than anything else.
October 17th, 2016 3:54am
You can always take away certain privileges for a day, and if it keeps happening, increase the number of days. You can send them to their room for the day, or have them not be able to have friends over for a week or so.
March 13th, 2017 9:52am
Set rules and standards of behavior from an early age. Make sure that your kid always understands why they are being punished. It is also important to understand where your kid is developmentally. An infant isn’t trying to hurt you when he bites; a toddler isn’t being naughty when she breaks something out of curiosity. Know what your child is capable of understanding and doing.
December 5th, 2017 5:03am
Every single child is different and what works for one will be different for another. You have to figure your own way of what works for each child and stick with it.
February 13th, 2018 1:51pm
Talking to him as a person and not a child usually helps. Using a stern voice can discipline the child, but make sure they know that it is because you love them.
February 25th, 2018 5:41pm
An alternative to spanking is a reward chart for when they are well behaved as this is an incentive to better behaviour for example a star chart . Then when they have 10 stars a small reward would be rewarded. It would empahsise that good behaviour is better and give them a sense of achievement also
May 29th, 2018 11:03am
Treating your child with respect is the first step of effective discipline. Spanking does not fall into this category.
June 10th, 2018 4:37am
Some effective methods could be grounding your child by taking away toys, talking to your child about what they did and why it was wrong, putting them in time out, etc. Remember that the goal of the punishment is to make sure they wont do the behavior again so do what works most effectively for your child.
February 24th, 2020 12:16am
The best way would be to talk it out to your child and make them understand what's wrong. So through this, they would be able to know why it is wrong. Other ways would be to making them to fix their mistakes and giving them a small punishment without hurting them. Through this way, they may understand it better.For example, if your child regularly spills food knowingly, you should try making your child clean the mess and not give a chocolate or something which your child usually used to eat as a reward. This would make the child of the mistake and how to correct it.
August 30th, 2021 1:15pm
When I was a child, my mother and grandmother used to tell me that children are like blank slates. You need to be careful what you choose to write on that slate. It never made any sense to me back then. Today, I know what they wanted to convey through those conversations. In today's era, when we talk about disciplining a child it sounds like some sort of punishment or being strict towards the child. In some instances, being strict is not an issue particularly when it is the only resort that we are left with but it must not be done every time. Some effective ways to discipline children are as follows: • Being their best friends - I strongly believe that befriending your child appropriately can help you instill discipline in them. Children who grow under strict surveillance suffer mental health concerns such as PTSD, social anxiety, phobias and find it difficult to talk about it with their parents. •Setting Healthy Boundaries - To maintain a child-parents relationship, a healthy boundary is extremely crucial. If you're treating them as a friend, make sure that they do not abuse that privilege and ask for something that is beyond your capacity. For instance, a child using demanding electronic gadgets, using your credit cards, and splurging money like water is not healthy. Rather, make a list of things your child wants, and every time they accomplish something no matter how big or small it may be, reward them with one thing from that wishlist. This would make them understand the true value of money and that reward is earned through hard work. Also, it would encourage them to perform even better. •Communicate, also be a good listener - Some of the effective ways to instill discipline in a child is through communicating kindly with them. Children are masters at copying actions, tones, languages used. They are capable of doing all that you do better than you. The way you treat them, they will treat you and others the same way. When they are nurtured with love, empathy, respect - they give back the same to society. Hence, talk to them lovingly and be a great listener. Open communication without any hesitation and hear them out for real. Understanding what is going on in their mind. After they are done talking, if there's some correction needed or any point you disagree with - explain it to them politely. Never impose your opinions on them instead, accept their viewpoint. Talk to them in such a manner that they feel comfortable coming to you next time if they want to share any problems. Never forget that the way you treat your children is the way you teach them discipline. Wishing you the best! ❤ Love, -Angel