9 Things to do Instead of Spanking
– by Kathryn Kvols

Research confirms what many parents instinctively feel when they don’t like to spank their child, but they don’t 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?

1 – 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 can’t leave the situation, then mentally step back and count to ten.

2 – Take Time for Yourself

Parents are more prone to use spanking when they haven’t 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.

3 – Be Kind but Firm

Another frustrating situation where parents tend to spank is when your child hasn’t 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 child’s 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, “I want you to play quietly.

4 – 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?” 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.

5 – Use Logical Consequences

Consequences that are logically related to the behavior help teach children responsibility. For example, your child breaks a neighbor’s window and you punish him by spanking him. What does he learn about the situation? He may learn to never do that again, but he also learns that he needs to hide his mistakes, blame it on someone else, lie, or simply not get caught. He may decide that he is bad or feel anger and revenge toward the parent who spanked him. When you spank a child, he may behave because he is afraid to get hit again. However, do you want your child to behave because he is afraid of you or because he respects you?

Compare that situation to a child who breaks a neighbor’s window and his parent says, “I see you’ve broken the window, what will you do to repair it?” using a kind but firm tone of voice. The child decides to mow the neighbor’s lawn and wash his car several times to repay the cost of breaking the window. What does the child learn in this situation? That mistakes are an inevitable part of life and it isn’t so important that he made the mistake but that he takes responsibility to repair the mistake. The focus is taken off the mistake and put on taking responsibility for repairing it. The child feels no anger or revenge toward his parent. And most importantly the child’s self-esteem is not damaged.

6 – Do Make Ups

When children break agreements, parents tend to want to punish them An alternative is to have your child do a make-up. A make-up is something that people do to put themselves back into integrity with the person they broke the agreement with. For example, several boys were at a sleep-over at Larry’s home. His father requested that they not leave the house after midnight. The boys broke their agreement. The father was angry and punished them by telling them they couldn’t have a sleep-over for two months. Larry and his friends became angry, sullen and uncooperative as a result of the punishment. The father realized what he had done. He apologized for punishing them and told them how betrayed he felt and discussed the importance of keeping their word. He then asked the boys for a make-up. They decided to cut the lumber that the father needed to have cut in their backyard. The boys became excited and enthusiastic about the project and later kept their word on future sleep-overs.

7 – Withdraw from Conflict

Children who sass back at parents may provoke a parent to slap. In this situation, it is best if you withdraw from the situation immediately. Do not leave the room in anger or defeat. Calmly say, “I’ll be in the next room when you want to talk more respectfully.

8 – Use kind but firm action

Instead of smacking an infant’s hand or bottom when she touches something she isn’t supposed to, kindly but firmly pick her up and take her to the next room. Offer her a toy or another item to distract her and say, “You can try again later.” You may have to take her out several times if she is persistent.

9 – Inform Children Ahead of Time

A child’s temper tantrum can easily set a parent off. Children frequently throw tantrums when they feel uninformed or powerless in a situation. Instead of telling your child he has to leave his friend’s house at a moment’s notice, tell him that you will be leaving in five minutes. This allows the child to complete what he was in the process of doing.

Aggression is an obvious form of perpetuating violence in society. A more subtle form of this is spanking because it takes it’s toll on a child’s self-esteem, dampening his enthusiasm and causing him to be rebellious and uncooperative. Consider for a moment the vision of a family that knows how to win cooperation and creatively solve their problems without using force or violence. The alternatives are limitless and the results are calmer parents who feel more supported.

Article Copyright © 1995 INCAF

Kathryn Kvols is the president of the International Network for Children and Families and the author of Redirecting Children’s Behavior.

Do you need better attendance at your parent education programs? I split my time between So. California and Louisville, KY. If you are interested in parenting classes & workshops in a 3 hour radius of either, there are no travel fees. Please contact me for topics & rates. I love to travel & have an 8-week proposal for parenting workshops, intensive classes & instructor training in your area of the world. Please email me for details.

157 Comments

  1. Jess Says Reply

    Uh, that is stupid advice? child-centered parenting raises brats. Spanking is not evil and very helpful when done properly and CALMLY.

    • Deborah Godfrey Says

      Jess,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I think that permissive parenting is what raises children that are disrespectful, entitled, and that no one wants to be around. No one said spanking is evil, in fact it’s quite the norm. You hit a key point and one that many parents forget in the heat of the moment. My argument is not that spanking is evil or bad, it’s just not our “best”. There is always another form of discipline that can correct the child’s misbehavior AND build their self-esteem and thinking skills, rather than disrupting them like spanking does.
      I would love for you to describe the next time you spank your child. What did your child do? How did you respond initially? What made you decide that spanking would be the best discipline response? How did you “properly and calmly” implement the punishment? What was your child’s response and how did you feel as a result? I would love an opportunity to see if I could come up with another possible solution.

      Happy Parenting!

      Deb

    • Megan Says

      If you are calm and collected, you should be completely capable of developing an alternative response to hitting your child. Not hitting children isn’t being permissive, in fact, using natural or logical consequences does much more to teach children that their actions have conseqences. Spanking is arbitrary and does nothing but show children that YOU, an adult, don’t even have the skills to solve problems with others without hitting them.

    • Keir Says

      … spanking is never necessary there are always positive ways to help the child learn and do what you want instead of hitting them and hoping that their fear will correct the situation. People like you will never learn, and shouldn’t even have the right to have children. Please, relieve some more aggression on your children because you haven’t taught them how to behave correctly. That’ll teach them!

    • robert b Says

      It is amazing how people say there is other ways to discipline your kids than spankings. I don’t believe they’re any that supplement the value of a spanking; spanking your child develops a necessary fear to certain actions. When that fear is established early, less spankings is the result. I have two little girls and I spanked them both starting at 6-9 months, when attitude and bad habits started to show. They are well behaved, confident, gentle little girls who love me dearly; because my household is not just about spankings; the same hand that spanked: nurtured, loved, patiently teaches my girls. In comparison to the kids I see at daycare with no respect and parents with no control, I find your blog lacking in real world results. In fact these kids with no sense of fear of actions are violent towards my girls leaving me and my wife in a uncomfortable situation. I would just need to see your kids to believe what you are saying. All of these people talking about abuse, abuse is what would happen when your kid is sent to juvenile or prison because were afraid to show them severe consequences for actions. Our laws and punishment for poor choices do not give you options, your options is to do right or wrong.

    • Laura Says

      Jess – As a child who was spanked I can tell you with absolute confidence that spanking IS evil. Only parents who are brainwashed by their church or their own misguided thoughts resort to intimate violence.

    • Gal Says

      All that spanking did for me was teach me that my parents hated me enough that I was the only one in the world they would hit. I learned not to trust them. I learned to fear authority in all forms. It made me withdrawn at home and school. I’m now in my 30s, have 2 failed marriages (because the husbands were abusive), and I can’t hold a job because I have crippling anxiety. I’ve been attempting to get social security for the last 8 years, but they tell me I’m too young. And every day I spend probably 2 hours wondering why my dad and mom didn’t love me enough to explain life to me, instead of hitting me. I wasn’t a “bad kid”. But now… I will always be a “bad kid”. I hope this ends when they die, but I bet it doesn’t. I’ve spent my entire adult life trying to undo the damage they did. I know some people spank their kids and think it’s fine. But I’ll tell you right now, you’re kid doesn’t feel like you love them if you hit them. They feel like a frightened little piece of trash. And that’s a feeling that may follow them all of their days.

    • haley Says

      really that was stupid ADVICE apperantly you must be very stupid because that was very excellent advise and violence nor spanking is the answer! what would you like more hurting a kid causeing low self-astem or taking the time being nice but firm and make other ways to punish a child!

    • Jeff Says

      I have to agree. I’ve really gotten into this positive parenting thing and it’s turned my kid into a total brat. Obviously no one WANTS to spank, but when your kid spits in your face you can’t just say “now Johnny lets evaluate our alternatives.”

    • Deborah Godfrey Says

      Hi Jeff,

      I’d be interested to see what you think “Positive Parenting” is in a practical way. As in, how exactly how do you handle certain situations? I would never respond with your response to his spitting, that would be a ludicrous response. I’ve never seen you in any of my classes, so most likely you are misinterpreting the idea of Positive Parenting or Positive Discipline, which many parents do. This is NOT permissive parenting, and in fact, it takes a great deal more thought and effort into systematically and effectively approaching discipline with your kids. I always say, “I am relentless with Love” AND CONSISTENCY! I can’t imagine getting myself into an interaction with any of my kids, as ornery as they could be, where they would spit in my face. That would have taken years of relationship destruction on your part to create that result! I could help you turn all that around if you are interested.

      Regards,
      Debbie

    • John Says

      I think some of these ideas are helpful, and do work much of the time, but honestly, there are times when they don’t. I tend to prefer timeouts and taking things away, but sometimes a swat on the botton to a toddler may be the best thing. It gets their attention quick and refocuses. You don’t have to get a belt out and whack like 10 times, a firm open hand swat will do. Yesterday, for example, I had already given a timeout very recently for the same thing (hurting the small dog) and when he was just out of control I gave a swat. He cried for a few seconds and calmed down. First he was shoving stuff off the coffee table into the trash. I picked it up and firmly said not to do that, he did it again before he got down. He quickly got down and began to pull on the dog which I pulled him off and said stop. He immediately went right back to it. Thats when I gave a swat.

    • Brittany Says

      If you were truly calm you wouldn’t have to beat your child. You are a horrible person.

    • Brittany Says

      It’s also the people who are okay with beating their children who are okay with other’s sexually abusing and using them. Children have it rough.. being owned by monsters. These parents deserve to burn to death.

    • Ari Says

      I agree with jess! I was raised with getting spanked and I learned to respect my parent and to listen to what I’m being told so I wouldn’t get hit again. My sister on the other hand got raised with this “positive parenting” bullshit and she’s a back talking, rule breaking, completely disrespectful little twat. She’s given my parent the middle finger, yells at my grandmother, curses like a sailor and why?? Because she knows our mother will not hit her and her consequences are the easiest way out. Because of things like this the future generations are almost completely made up of disrespectful brats! And to anyone saying that their parents made them fear authority, good because you should be scared. When you’re in handcuffs do you think that the officer is going to be nice? Do you think that if you act wrongly towards other people you want get what’s coming for you?? Stop putting kids in a god damn bubble the real world isn’t gonna give you “makeups” you mess up once and you can end up dead!

    • Zoe Says

      Violence doesn’t teach children anything but more violence. They will respect you if you teach them how to make amends for their rash actions or mistakes.
      Causing them physical displeasure only inspires fear towards you.

    • Larry Says

      Deborah. Getting as whopping has been around thousands of years before you excited and society worked just fine. Some people need tougher punishment especially as the child gets older. Fear last for decades. Talking last for a few weeks. A child needs fear in order to be controled. At the end of the day I’d rather whoop my child than society or a judege or criminals behind bars.

    • Deborah Godfrey Says

      Larry,

      Unfortunately, the research shows that criminal behavior/violence/lack of internal controls are much more heavily correlated with spanking than with positive non-coercive forms of discipline. Additionally, using fear to motivate kids causes them to shut down their “thinking brain” and go into the “fight or flight” driven by the more primitive brain. This sends a cascade of stress hormones throughout their body preparing them to fight, flee or freeze. There is no higher learning going on. This is why you MAY get initial compliance, but the child won’t learn to to the right things for the right reasons and their judgement can become impaired.

      I talk about this in my free workshop on Dealing With Power Struggles.

      Debbie

    • Larry Says

      There is a difference between spanking a child a being abusive. If fearvis established at tge earlier parts of age, it’s easier to control them when their a 17 year old as well. The way the author is suggesting works for a short period of a child’s life. After 12 a child is more into a social life and is getting more independent. You have to have fear established in the teenage years. Every parent doesn’t have order in their households and those same parents kids could be your child’s friend. If a kid notices that his ftiend is rebellious, it will grown on that child over time. When a teen starts to date these baby like form punishment won’t work anymore trust me. You have good people in life and bad people and sorry you dont get to choose if your child will be one.

    • Deborah Godfrey Says

      If your child fears you, he will not trust you or confide in you as a teen. Unfortunately, Larry, you have it exactly backwards as to the reality of fear based vs positive parenting. I think the mistake you make is equating permissive parenting with positive parenting. Permissive parenting will surely create the results you fear, every bit as much as fear-based parenting. The finesse of parenting is to strike a balance with both KIND and FIRM parenting, which is what I teach.

      Warm regards and thank you for your contribution to this topic,
      Debbie

    • Shauna Says

      Hello, I see that there are many different opinions in the comments with regard to how children will turn out when they are raised in the “positive parenting” fashion, including a number of them which state that it doesn’t work. I’m 30 years old and was raised in the type of household described here. My brother and I are both high achieving, responsible adults. There was never any physical punishment, and a physical response to any situation in or outside of the home was not an option, though I do understand that there are a small number of situations which require this type of response. My parents were consistently firm with their rules (they never gave in), if asked they always explained any rules which we were told to abide by (not because I told you so), and almost never yelled. In fact, when their voices got quieter we knew we were in big trouble. In this type of household breaking a rule is not an option whether the child is 2 or 16. I have watched many parents have rules that they bend or break and teach the child the wrong thing, one clear example is when a child wants something in a store and is begging the parent during the entire trip to the store – the parent says “no” over and over again, only to say yes at the cash register just before check out. This is teaching the child that they can question your rules and get what they want. My parents, if they said no they said no and that was that, there was no argument. Basically, even though my parents didn’t beat us and didn’t really yell at us either we were raised in a pretty strict household with clear rules (no television until you finish your homework, etc) and responsibilities (wash dishes after dinner, do yard work on Saturdays, etc).

    • Sarah Says

      As a child who was spanked, I can say that yes, it taught me to how behave around adults and authority figures. But did it really teach me to respect them or to just act a certain way so that I didn’t upset them? My parents always argue that spanking is a good ” personality builder” and that I wouldn’t be as “confident and respectful” as I am today. And what did I actually learn from spankings? I can’t even remember the lessons I was supposedly “taught” but I can remember the fear that settled within me when my dad stormed throughout the house, screaming with a hand in the air. One may argue that if parents spank their kid, they must be calm about it, but hitting anything is always derived from anger or frustration.
      In conclusion, I can honestly say that if you truly want your child to respect you, as a parent or guardian, there are many other alternatives. I strongly agree with the alternatives in this article and wish that they had been present in my own household. While learning an actual lesson, your child will also become a more confident and loving person.

    • Gavin Says

      The thing is you want your child to act like a grown up. Let him/ her to say what they want and then try to find an alternative solution. Spanking is to get your child to do what you want them to do, and when they grow up they are just going to be bossed around by everyone else

    • Anonymous Says

      I agree that spanking can have a major affect on children & even the adult. I use to get spanked by my father when I was little & my mother approved of spankings because thats how they were raised but eventually it turned to belts than one day my father lost control and I wand up with my head split open. I am nearly 30 and have no relationship with my parents. I tried to be friendly but honesty I’ve stayed scared of my father & still am today. I have a few friends (no spankings) that were raised differently & are very close with there parents & I wish I were the same. I know that spanking isn’t the right way to go & that’s why I will not spank my kids. I came to this page seeking an alternative to time outs, but after reading some of the reviews I wanted to stick my story out there.

    • Ben Says

      I don’t agree with apologizing for a punishment. That’s horrid advice and encourages bad behavior. Why listen to a parent when you know you can disobey and just have to do a little work. It’s creating a disobedience tax.

    • Lacie Says

      @ Ben: “Why listen to a parent when you know you can disobey and just have to do a little work.” When you love and respect you parents, you want to do your best for them. You don’t want to make them sad or angry or disappointed. You do everything in your power to be a good kid.

      So if your child resents you enough to not listen after they’ve been taught how important it is to do so, or is otherwise struggling to behave when they obviously should, your family really needs outside help from a professional. Make sure the kid doesn’t have any medical problems with a doctor, if not then check on mental / emotional problems with a therapist, and if not then look at your relationship with them (including how your actions may be affecting them negatively) with a family counselor.

      Parenting without brute force and petty violence is a difficult process (as parenting should be–we’re raising humans here), but it’s worth never having to raise a hand at your child.

    • Brian Says

      I think those who are against spanking completely misunderstand what spanking is. It in no way “teaches violence” or “makes a child feel hated”. There is a very big difference between spanking a child and striking a child out of frustration or anger. The latter is dead wrong as far as I am concerned. I would never even think about spanking my child while I am angry or frustrated. The only time I have spanked is for direct defiance, not for non-defiant behaviour. Spanking is always done in private as the goal is not to embarrass the child and the goal is reconciliation. The child’s defiance causes a separation in the relationship between the child and parent. The few spanings I have had to give my son ended with a sweet moment of understanding and reconciliation. I would also add that not every child should be spanked either. My daughter has never been spanked because quite frankly a look of disappointment has the exact same impact on her. And because of this if that disappointing look is needed than it is treated with the same gravity with which a spanking is treated. I absolutely hate spanking but in the few times I’ve used it, it was necessary and the family relationships and my child is the better for it.

    • Annabelle Says

      There is a difference between Permissive Parenting and not beating your child. I knew a girl raised in a permissive household and there are never any punishments, nothing is even taken away. When i came to her house for a sleepover one night, I was shocked to find out she wasn’t allowed to have me over, and her parents did not act in any way. She just laughed at their disappointment because the rules weren’t being enforced. If your child throws a temper tantrum, beating is not the solution, but threatening to take away their positive and to enforce a negative is key. Taking away from play time and locking them in a room with no toys and no tv will ensure this. If you happen to tell your child that he can have his friend over as long as no girls come over and he breaks that promise, you take away his positive and enforce a negative, simple! It sets them on the right path, although the child may not be physically effected, hildren who are spanked are more likely to develop psychological issues in the long run, and are more likely to become criminals.

  2. 4 Tips on How To Parent - Positive Parenting Says Reply

    […] not heard” was literal. Additionally, all child-rearing practices prior to this century included regular beating of children. Children were thought to be born evil and needed the devil beaten out of them. Many children […]

    • Alanaah Says

      Spanking babies, when they don’t even understand what “they are doing wrong” is certainly sick. Hopefully you won’t go hitting people when their actions start to show because violence is what, according to what you said, makes them correct themselves.

    • Tiffany Says

      I kind of agree with this, however, this is general information. Some parent’s spank with a belt. I think it helps to define what spanking is. Spanking should leave marks or bruises, if it hurts your hand, you are doing it too hard. Also, I agree, you can spank calmly. But not everyone can. Some people are just completely out of control and it much more like an actual beating than something designed to help the child.

    • Glenna Auxier Says

      Robert,
      I know that there are ways to parent successfully without spanking. However If what you are doing works, if you have a close loving relationship with your children, live in a family where parents and children work as a team, if you never feel uncomfortable about yourself when you have been hitting your children and spanking is your only tool, then you must be happy with what you are doing.
      It is a bit strange that what we call the swat on the behind or the slap of a hand would wind an adult in jail if they inflicted that on another adult because it would be considered disrespectful, superior and humiliating. Children also feel disrespected,inferior and humiliated when they are hit. Even more so when that person is their parent. I know that I am more encouraged to act better when I am in relationships with people who do not hit or threaten me.

    • Jai Says

      Hello

      I do not believe in hitting or soanking your child. Im 36 and have 2 brother 38 and 32 and all of us got hit during childwood and teenage times and that has made us all fear and non assertive lacknof confidence..I still care for my mum but I hate the fact that she beated us a lot and shouted at..
      I have quite low self esteem…when mymumwas little she was beaten by her mum too and she is always angry that includes her other 6 siblings..they are all low self condident non successful and some has mental health issues..
      My grandmum was the same she shouted at us and “swatting” at us…and call us names…i am still angry at her deep inside…I have been trying my very best to be positive which I am 70% there however I am still paranoid at leaving my baby with anyone that includes mymmum my mother in law my friend childcare…everyday I feel sad and anxious leaving my child with people…I totally agree with happy and positive parenting..
      Hitting beating is cruel….if unlive your child you wont even think of hurting them..
      Even today I have this fear of my mum I cant even tell her the truth of whati think and it always result in arguing..I compare myself with my friend/colleague she is sonself confident and never been smack ir shout at…she has 2 lovely children same thing but my best friend is so unstable in all her life with 3 broken marriages and 2 children and ahe was beaten a lot…
      Thank You J

    • Deborah Godfrey Says

      Jai,
      Wow, you have been through a lot. I certainly understand your fear at leaving your baby with people that you are unsure if they will respect your discipline choices. When my kids were young, my mom and dad would watch them for me while I worked, then taught parenting classes. When I decided I would no longer spank them, I told my parents to please not spank them. My dad said, “If you won’t let us discipline them, then don’t leave them with us”. So I didn’t… for 8 months. Then I invited my dad to the “graduation” of one of the parenting classes I had taught. Each of the parents spoke, so heartfelt, about all they had learned, including learning not to spank. At the end, my dad said to me, “OK, we will watch you kids and we won’t spank them, but you need to tell us what to do instead!” and he became my biggest fan.

      I hope you can find some like-minded friends and family that will support your discipline choices.

    • Beezil Says

      I’m actually on the fence about spanking, but spanking a 6 month old, really that’s sick. I’m hoping Robert s gets a visit from the authorities since he has actually confessed to hitting babies.

    • Chris Says

      @Larry
      Very telling and prominent words in your posts…”fear” and “control”

  3. Hadassah Says Reply

    I think this is good advice. I was raised with fear of being hit upside my head and on my bottom. I obeyed them not out of respect but afraid I would get spanked and hit for my mistakes. My parents made a big deal but it was never in a calm way. It always left me wanted to run away and not see that parent for a whole long time. I was always yelled at and sometimes ending with welts and swollen knees, legs, and bottoms. I wanted to hid and never let the world see my body ever again. My mum always cursed at me calling me names. She said she would send me to reform school (juvenile). I was always afraid of abandonment whenever she said that. I was abandoned at about two weeks of age as the orphanage guessed. I was always thinking I probably misbehaved and that is why they left me in a basket. That goes the same with my parents now.
    I f you want too know more about me look about my experiences on http://www.experienceproject.com

  4. Don’t spank your children | In the mind of Stephanie Says Reply

    […] If you spank your child you obviously can not control your own emotions, how can you help your child control their own? That’s a big reason why I believe waiting to have children until you know you’re ready is very important. Being ready to me means financially and emotionally. You need to know how to control your own emotions and how to resolve things properly and logically. Anyone can be a parent, anyone can “raise” a child. Anyone can’t guide a child to be a successful human being though. Educate yourselves fully before being a parent. Unplanned pregnancy? Research the crap about of everything to do with parenthood and raising a child respectfully with no violence. Don’t look into things you already know. Look at all parenting styles. Look at all the methods. Look at science. Know what’s best to understand children. They’re all different but all need to be guided with love and respect. I will write a post about why gentle parenting is the best option, scientifically and just because of my opinion. That’ll be later on though. Give the anti-spanking topic a chance though, research into it a little. I promise, if you’re pro-spanking, it’ll change your mind completely. Need an alternative to spanking? http://positiveparenting.com/9-things-to-do-instead-of-spanking/ […]

  5. Star Says Reply

    How should I discipline my three year old twins when
    When I tell them to stop fighting with each other, and to stop throwing toys at each other? And how should I discipline them if I tell them no firmly and they start crying hysterically and throw tantrums. I’m asking these questions cuz I truly want help. I don’t want to spank my kids. I know it only works for short term and causes more problems in the future. But it seems like when I tell them or ask them that doesn’t work either. My biggest problem is asking them firmly does not work at all. Sometimes they just look at me and smile and continue doing what I told them not to do. It seems I have to yell to get them to stop it spank them. Please help!

    • Marie Says

      there are alternative ways and what it requires is your time, understanding, love, patience and attention. I went on a stress leave to handle my sons behavior, went went to a childrens behavior specialist who showed me appropriate responses non of it involved hitting, yelling or aggression. and we had FANTASTIC results.

      Spanking shows them you are bigger and you will do what I want because I tell you so, you did not give them the tools or show them the corrective behavior you wanted. most kids do things to get your attention. yes you are busy doing things that need to get done-but they aren’t going to know how to resolve their issue if you don’t show them how! spanking shows them not to trust you and completely fear you, you stopped the behavior sure , but you utilized violence to get them to do what you wanted. Now your kid has the potential to go out and use this same tool to get what they want from others who are smaller than they are. if this was an adult situation it would NOT be acceptable so why is ok to use it on someone who is 1/8 your size? you are opening the door for your kid to bully, hit others including women. My son is adhd has sensory disorders that cause him to have meltdowns, believe me ive had those days where ive wanted to spank the lights out of him, but that would be the easiest response from me, instead I read his body language and can see when he is overwhelmed or has had enough. his body tenses up, his hands become tightly wound as fists. I don’t yell, I count. time out? not even needed any longer. time out in his room resulted in increased agitation and aggression, for him time out involved me holding him calmly, turning my head away from him and counting to 10. you can do this if he hits, you can hold his hands-not tight-but loose enough so that he can move but not hit, turn your head count to 10 and release. ive had to do this numerous times in a row increasing my count by 10’s. the highest I ever got was to 40. that’s his time out….10 SECONDS. Throwing toys was an issue as listed above, take the toy, say no thank you in a monotone voice hand it back to the offender and tell them(without eye contact) please give this to so and so or please place this in the bucket. if they throw, same voice, make them hand it to the person or in the bucket. then in same voice, now giving eye contact, “thank you! that was so helpful! Good CHoice!” (you given them the description this can be done with running, ‘no thank you we don’t run’, if they don’t listen, calmly take their hand walk back to the same spot and escort them, thank them and tell them good choice. everyone assumes they know good behaviors and bad behaviors, BUT THEY DONT! you need to teach them! that’s what your job is teaching them to be adults, guiding them by giving the tools and the knowledge of the good choices. you cant assume they know good choices, if you haven’t given it to them. same thing with swimming, you cant assume they know how to swim so you teach them. Kids don’t want to be bad, what they want, is your attention and love. if they aren’t getting enough of it, later on theyre going to go find it elsewhere and that elsewhere could be running away, another unsafe adult, friends. you should be their safe place to fall.

  6. Rochelle Says Reply

    @star …..I totally understand your dilema, I am in the same boat. I don’t want to spank my kids because honestly deep down inside I feel like it is wrong because I do it out of anger and I fear I may go too far one day. I came accross this article while searching for different alternatives to spanking. I was spanked as a child and don’t know if that is why I did not have much respect for my mom but I do know that my dad did not spank me much and I respected him much more. I want my kids to respect me. I have a two year old boy who does not listen at all, I tell him over and over to stop doing something and he just keeps on doing it, and honestly its gotten to a point where spanking him does not even work unless I scare the crap out of him and I hate myself after that. As for In the mind of Stephanie….if everyone waited until they thought they were ready to have children then this world would have far less people and not to mention that parenting is something that you have to experience to understand how good at it you would be because I thought that I was ready, why? because I was so good with my nephews but guess what, my kids are nothing like my nephews or at least the way they were when they were with me because kids act differently with others than they do with their parents so you should not judge how good you will be with your kids based on how good you are with other people’s kids….basically, no one knows if they will be a good parent until they have kids. There are drug addicts who reform and are the best parents and there are kind-hearted Christians who end up drowning their kids in the bathtub.

  7. Fathema qadeer Says Reply

    Ahi Debbie
    I am Fathema Qadeer
    This is good subject” 9 thing to do instead
    Of spanking”
    With my 3 childs allway I handly the behaviour
    With calm and eye contact
    No poblem
    I pray all the mother behave with calm
    And be kind, firm
    Thank you
    Is very interest

  8. Cari Says Reply

    I am new to this site. I just signed up for the next class. My biggest issue that I need help with is with my 4 year old son. At home he is a loving caring kid. At school, if he doesn’t get his way or someone doesn’t share a toy, he hits or spits on them. He also has huge tantrums if he doesn’t get his way. Three behaviors he does not do at home. I do not hit or spank my kids. I talk firmly and have them stand in the corner in silence when they are bad. How do I control a behavior that happens when I am not around?

    • Sofia Says

      It is never ok to hit a child, regardless of the situation; however, I believe a spanking may be our last resort if nothing else have worked. I for example out of anger one day slap my daughter, she is now eight. I regretted so much because she became afraid of me but her response was “Mami I understand you I know you love me and you hit me because I am a bad girl”. My daughter after that ran away from me everytime crying seeking shelter behind my parents. Was I being a good mother? No! I believe sometimes we let our ego and anger control our strengths and we use them on desperation on our children. Spanking may not be an evil thing, but it should always be minimized. My father hit me since I was a child and I grew up with hate, and very unstable. I do love them, but I also believe they’ve caused a greater damage in me which can never be fixed. My marriage is about to be over because of violence, my husband and step father of my only baby is influenced by his parents and is constantly yelling at yer and wanting to hit her. In my case my daughter saw my brother hitting me and he almost killed me and so she became traumatized. My brother hits women because that’s what he learned from seeing my father hitting me. My husband believes in slapping my daughter with force because his mother also hit me. I got married at the age of 32 because I believe that men are manipulative, controlling, and capable of hitting in moment of anger. That being said, in my case using force and violence just because of frustration is wrong. Every child is different and there may be some more than others who will require a stronger punishment based on their personality, but no parent should hit his child with anger even if they need to spank they should never use a stronger force to correct them. For some of us spanking worked, but for some others it didn’t. As a parent dedicating time to understand your child’s personality is important, we will all learn what is the best way to talk to them and what type of positive reinforcement to use.

  9. hallieFarris Says Reply

    I am stress out lately and I am going to try these things to help. I notice that I spank out of anger. I am go in to do these things. Thanks

  10. CHLOE VIOLET Says Reply

    i belive that spanking is bad not evil but if u do really love your child then you shouldnt risk them hating u in the future losing control of your anger and ancidentaly killing or serieoly hrting them and getting them taken away from you i dont have children i work with the law i help people before they really do something thats wrong. im wrking really hard to stop this and make it a law . i knw its hard to be a parent but dont you think its hard for children too parents have work cooking cleaning parenting children have school tests friend drama some have no friends and blame there parents . i think you as parents should be there gaurdinen plus friend im gonna ask whoever is reading this to excuse my typing i useally text just got a laptop and please think about your children i mean really think about there feelings as people and then they will or might see you now im not telling you how to do your job but im giving advise it s your choice to listen to me or to ignore i really do want to help

    • Robert Slansky Says

      Since when is spanking the same as beating the sht out of your children. Just because a parent hits their kid on the butt a few times when they act out of line doesnt mean they they will strangle them to death in the future. You have some serious issues.

    • Deborah Godfrey Says

      Robert,

      It’s hard to tell where Chloe is coming from. She says she is trying to help parents, so my guess is that she may work in another country, possibly 3rd world, where spanking is no longer an option. Many countries (not the US) have sign on to an UN agreement to End The Corporal Punishment of Children worldwide.

      Regardless, I hope this is a place that parents can share their opinions, like you have, in a civil manner and without directly insulting a particular person.

      I know that this is a real “hot” issue and tempers and judgements fly. But our commonality is that we all love our kids and the children of the world and want what is best for them.

      Debbie

  11. Brett Says Reply

    I was spanked and my dad even made a paddle for me because I would laugh and run away no matter how bad it stung, I was not beaten or abused. I still love my parents, I do not steal, or do bad or wish more stress upon any soul. I remember being a monster as a kid, by nature. I’m very respectful and hard working on my own to date. My little brothers were not spanked and are still terrors that often do not listen to my parents, I believe they will be fine though in the long run. I don’t have kids and at 25 my unbiased opinion is most of the time children do not need a spanking but every once in a blue moon your unruly kids need a good ol fashioned woopin, not a beating huge difference. I see all you non spankers at the grocery store trying to keep the tantrum quiet it ain’t working that child needs a good ol fashioned thinks half the people if not all, shopping putting up with it!

  12. The Thought Company » Alternative to Spanking Says Reply

    […] Reference: Kvols, K. (n.d.). 9 Things To Do Instead of Spanking. Retrieved August 6, 2015.http://positiveparenting.com/9-things-to-do-instead-of-spanking/ […]

    • Me Says

      Could not have been said better! Tantrum kid parents: We do not have to watch your children disrespect you because you allow it in your home! Good ole fashion butt whooping BEFORE you let that child in to public would be helpful not hender your rugrat that you secretly can’t stand either! This is why kids are so disrespectful and have absolutely no respect for you or themselves and then reflect this same attitude to the public!

    • Deborah Godfrey Says

      Kids tantrum for many reasons. Spanking will INCREASE the disrespect toward parents over time in healthy children. There are many ways to teach respect, model respect and expect respect that DO NOT include spanking or over-powering your child. My experience is that it is much more likely the the lack of respect to which you are referring comes from kids with not enough limits/boundaries/consistency ALONG WITH lack of appropriate ways to feel powerful. Spanking will only exacerbate this situation.

    • bob Says

      im writing essay

  13. lee Says Reply

    A kid who has not been hit throughout there early life is less likely to tolerate being hit or being abusive themselves in adult life. maintaining a core set of rules and sticking to them is a complex job which need to be carried out with integrity and perseverance which allows a parent to have the successful results. once you start relaxing this mentality the parang losses control. I can almost certainly say to the people who believe that a “smack now and then is ok” NO what you really mean is your parenting skills are to blame and the best thing to do is except this fact and move forward with a positive view point of making things better. read many books, listen to professional or even speak to family members. collect all this data and make up your own mind on the best approach. The one thing you will almost agree upon would be that smacking children doesn’t only have a physical effect but also a phycological one which plays havoc on the subconscious mind. This stuff really does shape our children in later life.

  14. Spanking Lowers Your Child’s Self Esteem | Insider Manila Says Reply

    […] page about your parenting styles. Let’s not have a good cop, bad cop scenario. According to positiveparenting.com‘s 9 things to do instead of spanking, what you can do is to have consequences  or have […]

    • Glenna Auxier Says

      Good opening point. The question also begs to be asked:\: Why would you hit your child if there were other things you could to encourage and guide?

  15. Ashley Says Reply

    Wow. Thankyou so much for this article. I came to this right after spanking my son. I felt so wrong. I was spanked as a child and I don’t have any hard reminds about it. My mother was very calm and informative about our punishments, she actually used time outs and writing lines and taking things away before she resorted to a spank. Anyway, I warn and warn and talk calmly and at eye level with him, and he calmly and “sweetly” completely disobeys me! It makes me so frustrated and angry. I spanked him and like I said I felt no good at all. In fact, my husband said just leave him alone and I didn’t listen- I guess I’m the one who needs a spanking huh? It’s tough.
    So I ran and got online to read this. It helped so much. I totally agree that spanking would have a negative effect on his self esteem and create ideas to hide his wrong doings- something I fear! I want him to trust me. How can he when I use violence with my hands that are made to protect him from harm. I feel so sad yet ready to change. Thanks again and again.

  16. Christinee Says Reply

    This is very helpful advice for those good-minded parents seeking help for alternatives to spanking, so thanks!

    I do have to comment further, having been HORRIFIED at the note from Robert B, who started spanking his 6-month-old babies!! Since his girls are still in daycare, he has NO idea how his “well behaved, confident, gentle little girls” will turn out. I feel so very sorry for them, having such an ignorant and abusive father, who has no clue about the mentality and development of children. And finally, Robert B, please get a clue regarding how kids end up incarcerated – it is, much more often, the child who WAS physically punished who ends up there !

  17. Spanking Lowers Your Child’s Self Esteem | Love, Abi Says Reply

    […] page about your parenting styles. Let’s not have a good cop, bad cop scenario. According to positiveparenting.com‘s 9 things to do instead of spanking, what you can do is to have consequences  or have […]

  18. Shadow Says Reply

    For you folk out there reading this and feeling conflicted by the comment section, don’t feel bad. The issue of spanking is controversial all over the world, and has been for some time. In the U.S., it’s only been a issue of public controversy since the 60’s, an issue of national controversy, however minimal, since the beginning of the 20th century. But that’s not what I commented to say- I have no children, but I am an aunt of 8 nieces and nephews who I grew up with like siblings. I was spanked as a child, when deemed necessary, and yes, I have a propensity for violence if I feel threatened- however, that propensity did NOT come out of spanking, which was a uncommon-rare occurrence for me (unlike my nephews) but instead from my poor experiences with other children who were far more violent than me. I’m not going to pick sides here, just give perspective on both.
    Children are human, too, and just because you don’t spank your child does NOT mean they won’t use violence to solve thier problems. Why? Because violence is a part of human nature, and because social heirarchies are more visible to children than to us adults, believe it or not. What do seemingly invisible heirarchies have to do with using violence to solve problems? Everything. Now, heirarchies are mostly built on self esteem, as we know. Yes, children who are spanked regularly and without clear intent/purpose can have lowered esteems- low esteems make for bullies a lot of the time, and you anti-spankers have seemingly won your case. But take into account all the things parents can’t control that influence thier Childs esteem- kids at school for example, or a teacher who plays favourites (nothing starts fights faster in kindergarten than a teacher who pays more attention to one group of kids than another) point being its not fair to blame a parent solely for the behaviour of thier child, especially after they go to school.
    On the flip side of that, the evidence presented proving that wrongful spanking is, in fact, wrong, is very high, and that there are few given reasons TO spank a child. But then, what are your other options? I think that resources filling in that gap are far too sparse in this country. Few things, or people for that matter, can seem to give you viable options for dealing with your child. This site is great, and has a lot of good tips, but it fails to tell you that every child is different, and that its ok to tailor this advice to fit your circumstances. For example, talking kindly but sternly- effective for some, but as previously seen, not effective for all. Replacing this advice seems impossible without yelling at your child- but that’s because it’s very vague. How you say something to your child is important- but so is What you tell them. Try saying something else besides “stop doing that”- try telling them WHY you want them to stop. Children don’t have the rational capacity adults do- telling them to stop without giving a reason why (and therefore a precursor to the correction, whatever you chose it to be, be it standing in a corner, taking things away, or making them do something else) they are far less likely to listen to you. By saying why you want them to stop, and then when they don’t THEN giving them a “punishment” or “correction” you make them rationalise cause and effect, as well as give them a warning about the consequences of thier behavior. (Making them less likely to do it) don’t threaten them with the consequence unless you have to, otherwise tell them why you want them to stop. Is it dangerous? Even telling them that they are disrupting you or your conversation- by telling them, for example, to stop yelling Because you are on the phone, you let them know in the future that being loud while someone is on the phone is rude. This sort of learning can be adapted to various other situations as well.
    Hope I don’t sound too… Well, let’s just say I’m not a parent, but I have watched many raise children. (And I also study behavioural patterns in humans) I didn’t mean to throw out so much opinionated advice, but oh well. 🙂 take it or leave it. I’m just trying to help.
    Oh, and also, I’d like to agree and disagree with a prior post- that child-centred rearing raises brats. That’s true- but this isn’t about centering your focus on giving your child everything they want, which is actually what makes bratty children that have dominance over their parents. This is about taking a different approach to dealing with a child. If what you’re doing works for you, it works for you I guess. Again, no two children are the same. 🙂

  19. EDT Says Reply

    I don’t know how I got to this post to begin with, but I’m about tired of these stupid hippies. Alternative punishments are great. I rarely spank my kids, but I don’t need to, because I have. All you new parents looking for advice please take a minute to really think about all this before you end up being that parent on Isle 7 at United down on your knees eye level with your child begging him to please put back the candy or whatever, and to quit saying FU while smacking you in the face.

    The only way alternative discipline works is if you have the authority to enforce the discipline. You can’t expect a child to just agree to… let’s say stand in the corner… If there’s no consequence to him just saying no, going to the fridge, grabbing a coke, and jumping on the Playstation.

    We see it all day every day. These parents out in public with some 10 year old telling them what to buy, where to go, and what to eat.

    Like the broken window scenario. That is definitely something I would have my kids do, and they would do it because I have instilled the discipline in them already. What happens with these parents that haven’t spanked their kids is much different. They get down on their knees, tell little Billie to mow the lawn to make up for the broken window, and little Billie says ” FU I’m not mowing any lawn” then you get to work some overtime, and pay for a window.

  20. New mama Says Reply

    I told myself, I would not be the mean mom or mean dad who will spank the heck out of my future child. I have a child now, 11 month actually. I’ve been so good with him so far, I give him a firm no with my stern voice. I will continue to listen to the advice above – because that’s what I’ve wanted to do, talk with my kids.

    Let me tell you. I was spanked a lot, so much so, i do believe that I settled for a low paying job. That I was angry with my parents for the longest time. That I definitely rebelled against them. My brother is an angry person, he is really volatile. My sister became the black sheep of the family and experiences depression and went to jail a couple of times.

    Spanking is the answer guys. Watch and see how your kids will be when they’ll grow up.

    Fast forward now, my parents obviously don’t spank us anymore. In fact, I do believe they regret it now. Cause they see us as failures in life and that now they are trying to make up for it by being better parents. But what’s done is done. I learned to forgive my parents and I do see their hate love relationship. Same with my brother. Can’t say the same for my sister.

  21. Tiffany Says Reply

    I think this is very good advice you never want to discipline your child when you’re angry. When I was a child we get whoopins when we was bad. So as an adult I am aware of how this affects the child.

  22. Chris Hagen Says Reply

    It’s interesting that the people who are against this are the ones who haven’t raised children without spanking. You act like you are an expert when you don’t even have any experience with it yourself, let alone educated expertise. My wife and I have raised 6 polite, confident, and well behaved kids that are pillars in the community, great grades, gone onto college (except our youngest who is still in school), volunteer regularly by choice for causes that are important to them, are active in Church, et cetera. And by the way it isn’t permissive; we just choose not to use pain or discomfort to get our kids to behave well.

  23. Greg Says Reply

    I am 42 years old and a first time parent. My 3 year old daughter threw a fit before bed. I’ve never experienced anything like it.she is normally a good girl. My wife and I effectively use time-outs, alone time in the room, giving her choices, taking away her favorite toys or telling her she’ll not get to do fun activities (ie dance, zoo, gymnastic classes.) not tonight. Nothing worked (we took away all her favorite toys, emptied her bookshelf, took away her favorite clothes, shoes, she wont go to her pre-school’s PJ christmas party ) and an hour later still non-stop temper tantrum. Twice we tried to calm her down and talk with her. My wife suggested I spank her since nothing was working and it was going on 10pm. So, i spanked her on the bottom. After four spanks, we again gave her an ultimatum of get into bed or another round of spankings. She climbed into bed and asked for hug and kiss. My wife let me get the first hug and kiss. She finally stayed down, but i feel awful. Now I can’t sleep… And here i am.

    • rick Says

      Sick of all the crybabies here. A parent needs to stay in control an the Child Needs to know that what mom or dad says , is Law. So if you don’t , in early time, that you do as told. Your just gonna have kids disrespecting you as parents. Thinking they can do anything they want. I only smacked my daughters bottom , she was 3. Never had any reason to do again.

  24. TeraLie Says Reply

    Its Suppose to affect the child!

    Not spanking has taught my child that he can look you in the eye and ignore you because a “stern talking too ” doesn’t hurt and is easy to ignore.

    Take a toy away? ….. oh that’s fine because I can sneak in the middle of the night and take it back without anyone noticing.

    Getting a good ass whooping teaches kids the same way touching something they aren’t suppose to do does.
    Wanna touch that knife?…. fine but it will hurt you
    Want to touch the hot stove….. fine but it will burn you.
    Want to lie?….. fine but you will end up in jail in the future where you will get raped, beaten and treated like a slave.
    Wanna run across the street without an adult?…. fine but don’t expect to get to the other side alive!

    A good stern swat on the ass does nothing but theach them consequences! , wanna act up? Fine, but expect your butt to be warmed up. (It doesn’t have to be a hard spanking, it doesn’t even have to hurt! , it’s suppose to teach them “oh! I don’t like that!, I probably shouldn’t do it again!)

  25. Lynn Says Reply

    As a parent that did spank my now twelve years old twin boys a few timesI totally regret it. In retrospect I believe I did because of my own frustration in having to deal with normal kids behaviourbut because I was constantly tired, sleep deprived and alone with very active and sometimes very naughty twin boys who in my mind sought nothing but mischief I wanted a quick fix , but looking back now I see that my precious sons were just being boys. I was spanked as a child and continued the cycle. My huhsband never spanked the boys and they have the same respect for both of us so I can’t say that spanking teaches kids respect. I have seen that there is a fine line between spanking and physical abuse. I have not spanked my boys in years and I can definitely say they are the most well behaved young men I know . I believe if moms are given more support and even a tiny break it helps to get her rested and make her more able to handle her children tantrums. Build discipline into a child not through fear but with love and stabilty. I would say to any parents if you are in the right frame of mind you’ll be able to discipline your child with greater success. So grateful for the privilege of being mom to my precious boys. God bless all the moms and dads seeking to grow as our kids grow

  26. Liz Says Reply

    Your article represents really normal kid stuff. I couldn’t see myself driven to spank by a kid dropping a can of peas or a temper tantrum. I have 4 kids. 3 are pretty typical – regular mischief but respond well with regular discipline: timeouts, “make ups”, logical restitution. But my eldest just rages – over everything, all the time. No respect for us. On Monday, Wednesday, Fridays he “hates us and wants to kill us” on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday he “hates us and is going to run away”. He pushes around his younger siblings, constantly verbally abusing all of us. There is no contrition in him. I wish I had spanked him when he was young enough for it to create a sense of respect (yes, even a small amount of fear) because it might have prevented him from being so unruly. The behaviour therapist recommended spanking in younger children (mine is too old for that now). He said if spanking was a pre-established consequence so that the child knows it is the direct result of a particular behaviour (i.e. hit your sister, you get a spanking) instead of a haphazard response of frustration it would only take 3-4 times for that behaviour to be rooted out altogether. I would rather spank my child a few times and have them learn respect for authority than have a child who is so wildly disrespectful that he could do himself (or others) serious damage when it really counts – when he’s older and the consequences could cost him jail time, a job, a relationship.

  27. Is Spanking a Child an Appropriate Form of Discipline? - K12 - Learning Liftoff - Free Parenting, Education, and Homeschooling Resources Says Reply

    […] to Positive Parenting.com, spanking perpetuates violence in society. “It takes its toll on a child’s self-esteem, […]

  28. Keenan White Says Reply

    I will definitely try this positive parenting. But I will also say you can’t blame low self esteem on spanking. I was spanked growing up and I learned what behavior resulted in me being spanked. I also didn’t end up with a low paying job. I actually came in the door making $17 an hour. I’m also going for my bachelors in IT. So I’m sorry it’s not a fact that spanking is what mentally hurts a child. It could be the fact that the parent was verbally abusive while spanking or just verbally or physically abusive period. But spanking is not the sole cause. Otherwise it every child spanked would have turned out the same. There are ways to spank a child and explain why they received the spanking versus “beating” them and just yelling. My dad always talked to me before I got a spanking explaining why I was being spanked. There’s never a time I misunderstood. So I feel there is the problem. Maybe if these children better understood why they were being spanked instead of just mindless swatting then there wouldn’t be low self esteem. Again there’s a definitive line between spanking and beating.

  29. Sidney S. Says Reply

    Spanking has gotten out of hand with some parents. These parents will spank the child who has done something wrong, but the child might not understand what he/she has done. I firmly believe in spankings. Not beatings. However spankings provide good lessons to kids who have done wrong as long as the parent calmly explains the reason for disciplinary actions. Some parents will fly off the handle a whip the kids without proper explanation. This in turn will not teach a lesson but instead will make the kids fear the parents. Then you have some parents who will threaten their kids, saying they will spank them but won’t. This teaches the kids to walk all over the parents with no consequence, and the kids feel they can do whatever they want to. Finally, you have parents that might, for example, take their phone away or put them in timeout. What will this teach? Nothing at all. After a while, kids will learn they can just get out of it quickly and they realize that the consequences aren’t bad at all, and then the kids go on and think to themselves “If that’s all my parents will do, then I can do it again. I can live without my phone or sitting in timeout.” I wouldn’t call spanking extreme in any way, but I believe it is stern parenting, which is highly effective as long as the parent provides a proper explanation for the child to understand.

  30. 9 Things To Do Instead of Spanking - Easy Bee Baby Says Reply

    […] post 9 Things To Do Instead of Spanking appeared first on Positive […]

  31. Mark Says Reply

    I have tried all the above without spanking and my child still refuses to obey. I was spanked as a child, I was always told why I was being spanked, my parents let me know they loved me and needed to teach me right from wrong and the consequences of doing wrong. I was also rewarded for good behavior. I respected both of my parents and love them very much. I made all A’s and B’s in school, have a college education, have never been a bully, and make over 6 figures a year. So, I do not believe in not spanking but believe it must be done in the correct manner.

  32. Tia Says Reply

    My parents feel i should beat the breaks off my son because they whipped me and i came out ok, some of us not all meaning my siblings, i did not like getting spanked i know what it’s like to be afraid so that made me not stand up for myself alot and made me accept being in a abusive relationship till i came to my senses, Jeff you funny now i spank my son when it’s necessary meaning if he waste juice are do quirky things kids do i don’t punish him but if he spits in my face which he did before i spanked him because he violated my space and i want to teach him not to violate people space have respect for people, if he playing in the house after i told him to stop running and break a lamp i don’t spank him because i already see the fear in his lil face that he’s in trouble but i will have some words for him my son might get a tapping twice a month i have a good kid no temper tantrums are anything but he do have a smart mouth and i’m trying to break him from that and my son is four.

    • Deborah Godfrey Says

      I teach discipline without spanking, threats or yelling. Any discipline that is fear based will shut down your child’s higher learning (frontal lobe) and set off their primitive brain, the “Fight or Flight” response. This will send a cascade of stress hormones throughout your child’s body that can cause illness and limit learning.

      I also teach parents how their discipline can conflict with their intended values for their children. You cite a beautiful example of this concept. By spanking your child for “violating you space”, you are in fact ROLE MODELING to violate a persons space (spanking) to achieve your own objectives.

      I can show you how to teach him to talk to you respectfully through loving based discipline rather than fear based discipline.

  33. Karisa Says Reply

    Hi. We have an almost 3 year old boy who is generally well behaved but has recently been trying out his will. We have done all the positive parenting tricks with no success with his screaming to try to get his own way. He screams if we try to take him to the toilet before going out somewhere. He screams if we take away a toy for misbehaving. He either just won’t do as he’s told for things like going to bed or again screams a lot and says no. And by screaming I mean full on meltdown. He went through a tantrum phase and can now express what emotions he is feeling so it is different from a tantrum. We are very consistent so we are at a loss of what to do. We feel like we have tried everything but spanking and we really don’t want to spank. We give him as much one on one as possible with having a fussy baby as well, and give lots of praise for good behaviour. This has been going on for a couple months and I am starting to lose my cool as I’m running out if energy. Would love some new suggestions that don’t include spanking.
    Thanks.

  34. Kenneth Says Reply

    When i was a child i was always spank but not that kind of spanking you guys think where bruises are left. just weak spanking. But i knew the reason why i was spank at that time. I never got traumatized from it but the only time that i was really hurt was not from spanking but from words. Being told everything you work for was useless hurts a hundred times more than spanking.

    and look at me now i am still okay, even though i know spanking is good way to learn but i only do it if it is necessary cause not all problems needs a spanking. I just usually do what i normally do when they go out of line, i give them the you’re them to me look, you know just stare at them menacingly, cold and quiet after a few second they’ll stop but they still love me after all that.

  35. Susan Says Reply

    Great article! 🙂

  36. Beezil Says Reply

    Just wondering if the authorities have been informed of Robert s ….. Who actually spanks baby’s as young as 6 months, this is very disturbing

  37. april Says Reply

    I was abused as a child by my stepmother. I also was spanked by my mom and my grandmother. I’m in no way a violent person. People say I’m the nicest person they know. I do have issues with self esteem but I think the abuse is what did that, not the spanking. Through it all I never resented my mom and I learned right from wrong. I was a good kid. I think there is a big difference from abuse and spanking. Although I’m interested in learning positive parenting. I am confused as to how you would positively parent a child who doesn’t know language yet. You can’t really negotiate with a 9 month old. Also do you consider time outs as negative parenting? Please help, I’m a new mom.

    • Deborah Godfrey Says

      April,

      It’s so sad that you had to experience abuse from your step mother. I appreciate your distinction between abuse and spanking, I agree they can be different. It’s is these lessons you have learned in your life that shape the parent you become. It’s fabulous that you are looking at and exploring who YOU want to be as a parent.

      If you choose to parent without spanking, there are many much better ways to discipline. Small children (all children) are confused by spanking. With young children that you are speaking, distraction, redirection and repetition are far better options. I teach examples of this, using an example of a 6-month old, in my teleclass on dealing with power struggles. Listen to this class and let me know what you think.

      I wish you good luck!

      Debbie

  38. shawn Says Reply

    Greg, I too am a new parent in my 40’s. I have experienced the same kind of tantrums with my child who is now 5 years old. I was raised by parents who would spank with a belt and have never forgotten how that made me feel. I swore that I would raise my child in a positive and loving home. Many times my daughter has gone into screaming tantrums that lasted for an hour at a time. She would stomp, yell, throw things, and hit and kick the door of her room when I sent her in. I felt helpless and lost control enough to yell at her a few times but have never spanked or hit her and I never will. I am lucky to have a loving and empathic partner who has helped me through this. The last time she had a tantrum like this, we both held her tight while she tried to hit us both. We held her and told her how safe she was and how much we love her until it passed. This is definitely a more difficult way then spanking…but it has worked. She has been well behaved; listening and obeying, more helpful with chores, happier, and more receptive to instruction since. Spanking is the easy way but it is not the right way for me. The ONLY rule in my home is to “show love”. Anything that does not do this is breaking that rule and will not be tolerated. There are many tools in my parenting toolbelt that I use that are non-violent and always work. They do take more time, effort, and energy. But I know that in the end I will be raising a child who is loving and confident.

    • Deborah Godfrey Says

      Shawn,

      Thank you for sharing your perspective! This is how parents will make their decisions about parenting, looks at others’ opinions and forming their own. I appreciate the time you took to add your perspective to this site.

      Happy Parenting!
      Deb

  39. shawn Says Reply

    We all love our parents. So there is a natural reaction among those (myself included) who were raised with spanking as a discipline to be defensive of the practice because they do not want anyone saying that they or their parents were “wrong.” I was spanked as a child. Although, it did not do me great harm, I wish that my parents had known about free classes like “Love and Logic” that are available at your local DSHS office. I know that the negativity that results from spanking could have been avoided. I know that I would have had a greater sense of self worth and trust in my parents. I took the classes at DSHS because I wanted to learn a non-violent way to raise my kid. I am so glad that I did.

  40. Different Views on Spanking – Boone County CASA Says Reply

    […] Says December 3, 2015, 2:49 am I have to agree. I’ve really gotten into this positive parenting thing and it’s turned my kid […]

  41. Leslye Says Reply

    I grew up in a home of 4 with parents that believed in a good spanking when necessary. Although I don’t remember my parents having to “spank” us all the time. of course my teenage years when I got one good swat…. & I felt horrible for my mother for having pushed her that far. I respect my parents & trust 100%. In my case I had a child very young & I believe that’s a major part of my 9 year lacking respect for me as a parent. Her Grandparents had a lot to do with discipline when she was younger, which was never….The fact of the matters is that I do not like the thought of spanking but there has been a couple times she’s got the hand on the bum. Now a “spanking” & a “beating” are totally different things. I’ve tried both spanking & calm firm eye to eye contact, doesn’t work. I have step children now in my current relationship & spanking isn’t in the cards for me anymore. Timeouts, losing privileges such as phone or TV alternative although 99% of the time my asking or telling goes in one ear out the other. It drives me crazy. Our family is big. Ages 11, 9, 6, 3, 1 1/2 & 6 months old 3 of which are my own. The three oldest can’t see to get along constant bickering I feel like I have no respect towards what I ask in the end. When I have strong willed children under the same household choices are just words to them with reactions that lead to grunts or yells or stomping…. Didn’t mean to drag this. What would you have for this young mother wanting to be stern & respected but not feared of by all the big personalities in this home. Please help….

    • katie Says

      I can feel how frustrating it can be. When my kids (12 & 10) start fighting between them (I know how frustrating it is!). My first advice is to be consistent and you HAVE to stick to your words! You can say something and never do it. It will take time! It is challenging and with the size of family you have, the clock is ticking! The best suggestion is to start showing them you mean business by: *when driving & the older ones start to argue, pull over! Go on your phone, don’t even say a word. When ask: well, I am unable to concentrate on my driving when you guys are screaming back there. And I am just waiting for you guys to finish. When we are all calm, I can start the car again. I have done that and it works! (specially when you are taking them to a friend’s house or whatever). They will be pissed! But you do not start the car before everyone’s calm. And trust me, next time they know better! You just need slowly change YOUR reaction and stick to it! If you give up, you will need to start all over again… make sure they know you mean business (it is very, very hard to stick to the rules! Specially when you are exhausted). Also, never, ever start to “reason” after the hr of 8 pm. It is useless… mentally everyone’s “dead”. write it on a board & deal with it later. Have family rules (respect each other and choices, opinion, etc. We pick up after our own mess, etc) stick it everywhere! Bedrooms, bathroom, office, car, etc. When they see it, they will get reminded. Have them involved! Dusting, ask for help! Could you watch over the rice while I am setting up the table? Or vise versa. Sorry to interrupt your discussion (more like fight), can you get me some napkin please? I would really appreciate if you can do that/this. NEVER use the phrase: “such a good girl/boy… or I am so proud of you…” Always appraise them. “Look at you (your guys)…”, “how do you feel about…”… good luck, but slowly, you will start to see the changes. Stick to it, do what you say you will do if…

  42. Ted Cruz Offers to Spank Protester, Wades Into the Mommy Wars Says Reply

    […] of their own, linking him to studies showing the long-term impact of spanking on children and suggesting a few options that are more positive than spanking. One site even linked back to a story filed the first time Cruz talked about spanking, where a […]

  43. katie Says Reply

    I have never spanked my kids. Spanking is the easy way out for parents. Get the kid to stop so they can go back doing what they were doing. So what dinner will be ready 1 hr later? So what the phone is ringing (if it’s important, they’ll leave a message and you can always get back to them). If you don’t have the time to raise kids, you shouldn’t have any in the first place. My son at age of 2 started biting his sister. What I did, I booked an appointment with the dentist and we went over that teeth are for eating , and not biting. If he can’t stop the bad behavior, then he shouldn’t have any teeth, eat soup for the rest of your life. His behavior STOPPED after that day. I don’t even hit my dog! Hitting, spanking, any type of physical punishment is wrong, is th easy way out.

  44. Paul Says Reply

    Calmly say, “I’ll be in the next room when you want to talk more respectfully. – yeah I’m still in the next room 6 hours later.. What a mug

  45. rennie Says Reply

    Seriously,spanking with love has never hurt anyone. Most Africans raise their children spanking them and so many have turned out well. My siblings and I were spanked as kids and we all turned out well and successful in our various fields and till now my friends and I sit and talk about the spanking days and even laugh about it and we hear so many stories from various people and they are all told with humor and nostalgia .You can do your research and see how Nigerians are winning in various aspects of life and various countries…e.g sports,film(Hollywood),arts,science,business and so many different ways. It is those children that were not spanked that turn out to be rule breaking,selfish brats. Spanking is good if it is done with love and the parents explaining things to the child and the spanking doesn’t become child abuse.Thanks

  46. Alex Says Reply

    There are big childhood moments in my life where I was spanked and spanked for good reason. 1) At 4-years-old I spat in my cousin’s face b/c she wouldn’t trade barbies. A huge glob of spit right there on her cheek, and she was shrieking in disgust. My Cuban grandmother gave me one good whoppin’, and I’m seriously grateful. I learned early just how vile it is to spit on someone and have never ever done it again. 2) The other time I was 9 and playing outside with my brothers and picked up a loose brick and threw it at a passing car. The car stopped b/c there was obviously damage. I ran and hid and again my grandmother gave me a spanking that fit the crime. I shaped up and became a great kid and I simply adore my grandmother who I’m lucky to still have around for my own children. I now have two sons 11 and 8. I’m very lucky that I only really needed to spank at toddler age. My eldest is such a responsible well-adjusted little man and since there aren’t many other small children in the family, he is perfectly comfortable being on par at the adults table and has confidence that when he speaks his voice is heard. My 8-year-old is a bit of a whiner and has a smart mouth. I mostly have to take electronics away when he’s acting up(I regret the day my husband bought them that x-box) but after I discipline him I always tell him that I carried him for 9 months and he’s my everything, and it hurts my feelings when he disrespects me. I let my kids know that when they talk I hear them, but also that there are serious punishments for serious crimes. My youngest brother was the only one that wasn’t spanked out of all of us and he completely lacks that understanding of in life there are no “makeups”. He is now 25yo with NO job, functional alcoholic, 2 DUIs, revoked license, didn’t even finish community college, and was too consumed with watching TV to ever learn Spanish; my parent’s native tongue. Spanking is just a part of my ethnicity as most hispanic people have a funny story about being spanked with a chancleta or anything their grandmother had near. I feel it’s a different story for those of Anglo backgrounds. The other day I saw this kid have a tantrum and throw a bunch of clothes on the floor in GAP. The mom was too busy trying to get him to listen to her and didn’t even apologize to the sales associate that would have to clean up after her brat’s mess! The things parents are letting kids get away with these days!

  47. Joshua Says Reply

    Are you kidding me? People are really blaming their own failures and inadequacies on their parents because they were spanked? I was spanked as a child. I recall two or three times. That is all it took for me to understand there were consequences for my actions. I also received praise or other kinds of rewards for doing the right thing. I’m successful, well adjusted and have never blamed anything I did wrong on my parents. My son was spanked twice when he was young. He is also well adjusted and even more successful in life than I am. The rare spankings in my family were more startling than painful. Always with pants on and never any marks. No malice was ever intended. Yeah, yeah, I know there are ignorant people that will say I’m either lying or I have buried issues, but those are the people who blame everyone but themselves for everything. The fact is, these are the facts. And…neither my son or me received “participation awards” in any sports just because we didn’t win something. That just gave ups the drive to do better. There’s definitely nothing wrong with trying to better yourself. Again, shouldn’t be a problem for anyone who doesn’t have issues. Just my 2 cents from someone who knows better…

  48. zeus talan Says Reply

    Your advices work with adults and ont children you can not trest children as adult

  49. Mary Says Reply

    Spanking your child starting at 6 to 9 months?? That is totally sick and you would deserve CPS to take a visit to your house! I have never spanked my children and they all turned out to be good, loving and well established adults. If you were spanked as a kid and find it to be ok and turned out ok then consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Spanking is violent, teaches violence and can hurt your child’s physical and mental growth. It’s also a quick fix, put some effort into learning and handing better discipline for your child. Even if someone believes spanking is acceptable how can anyone agree to start at such a young age 6 to 9 months ?? Totally sad especially at a day and age where information proves how unhealthy it is for a child to be spanked, it’s not an opinion but proven facts.

  50. Tara Says Reply

    I think this is great and spot on!!!!!! I lived with my friend for 6months who had a 9 year old boy and 7 year old TRIPLES!!! Everything you wrote about she LIVES by. She never spanks her kids and let me tell you, I have NEVER seen such respectable, well mannered, caring kids like her in my life.

    This type of parenting really does work. I am recently divorced myself with 3 kids of my own. Me and their dad had very different views of parenting…he believed in spanking and I did not. Well, I love my kids but they are more revengeful. I’ve learned a lot from my friend and they have got a lot better but we have a ways to go. Not easy when they go from my type of parenting back to their dads and he uses his type of parenting. But regardless, I agree with this 100%. Good read.

  51. jerome Says Reply

    when I was a child I also was spank when I was a child .But it did not make me feel bad to my mother it gave me great respect for her. I new that she love me and that she care when I did the things that I was not suppose to do. Not only did she spank me she would talk to me after she had spanked me and let me know what I had did wrong and why I needed not do that again. I feel that my mom had a great bearing on my life by doing that .It tough me right from wrong and that we had to pay for dog thing that I know I was not suppose to do. As a father my son told me if I would have spank him when he was a kid and not try to be a friend he may not have made a lot of the bad choices that he have made in his life now

  52. Eva Christine Says Reply

    The choice is up to every parent. I feel that spanking is what needs to be done if you have tried to reason with the child but the child also needs to realize that you are the authority and they need to respect the parent. Too many people try to be friends but they are just not doing the child justice.

  53. Rosemarie Markell Says Reply

    Robert B you spanked your INFANT? 6 mths old?? you really are evil. you dont deserve to have a kid.

  54. Desperatw Says Reply

    I don’t believe in spanking and have been using the positive parenting . My six year old is still out of control doesn’t listen cries and screams and carries on if he doesnt get what he wants . Called his sisters Fn idiots and hits me .please help , What should I do ?

  55. Shabby Says Reply

    Hahaha, people are really blaming their insecurities, marriage problems, anxiety and everything in general on their parents spanking them? The fault lies more on you for not working on yourself properly to make yourself a better and stronger version of yourself. Spanking has a time and a place, just like anything else. Don’t overdo it, interact with your kids and let them know they are loved and cared for on top of the discipline.

    I just love all of the white knights acting like they are raising perfect children. My guess is a lot of you either do not have children, or are a victim of ABUSE(physical and emotional) and not just spanking and in turn you are telling people spanking is wrong in general, when your particular case probably has A LOT more problems.

    In my experience spanking works alright with one of my children, and not at all with the other. Each child is different and responds to unique stimulus. Spanking straightens one child up, and the other becomes negative and self-destructive.

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  61. Aaron Says Reply

    I have a 4 month old, so obviously have not yet gotten to the stage where I need to start diciplining. But I will try to avoid spanking. In prior generations, spanking was like the default go-to response to anything a child did wrong…spilt milk, not listening or whatever. And I think in the vast majority of those cases, spanking is not appropriate. On the other hand, sometimes when I watch the show “Super Nanny”, I think, man, I would be very tempted to spank that kid. Though that show features children that have serious problems with compliance.

    I might use it as a last resort…but at the moment I have a hard time imaging every striking my child in any way…even if it’s just on the butt. If I ever did resort to that, I would be unhappy about it and keep thinking of different approaches.

  62. Aaron Says Reply

    Ultimately we should be teaching our kids to do right because of the intrinsic value of it, to be internally motivated. Spanking is telling a child to comply because I’m bigger and stronger than you, and I can hurt you. It’s effective, it works with almost any animal, but it’s the basest form of motivation.

  63. Jules Says Reply

    I was abused. Not spanked, abused. Both parents abused me. Mom was the main spanker and every little thing set her off so she’d whip me and hit me many times. Dad never intervened. When I was older I asked dad why he never stopped her from abusing me and he kept denying it saying I should have just listened to him and not annoyed my mother (impossible – many times I was sitting quietly at the table doing homework and mom would come home in a rage, see me and just start going at me because she had a bad day at work). So I pressed my dad for answers calmly and I could tell he was getting uncomfortable. So I said “dad, you are a real wimp for not standing up to mom cause you know she abused me.” That set him off. He got up and hit me so hard across my face…..I saw stars. Not the good kind. I was so shocked more than hurt. That was years ago. He never apologized nor brought the incident up. I lost a little respect for him since he won’t apologize but I forgive him. I forgive mom too. You have to. We have a decent relationship but I’m still worried once in awhile they will randomly hit me just because…..always in the back of my mind…….

  64. 9 Reasons You Shouldn't Smack Your Child, And 4 Alternatives Says Reply

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  66. Dave Says Reply

    I’m not saying physical punishment is the most effective option. I don’t think anyone believes that. And the proof is in the fact that it is typically the last resort and when it finally occurs there are these long debates over it’s efficacy.

    Obviously, we’d all love to live in a world where all children behave and all parents are completely rational.

    That’s not going to happen.

    Let’s start with the parents and then discuss the children.

    It is an unfortunate truth that some parents (perhaps even many) never intended to become one. At least, not at the time they did. So some parents are basically thrust into their roles. Unprepared and unwilling, they may resort to the time tested and seemingly simple form of discipline known as “spanking”.

    But some people are idiots and believe spanking is a blanket term that covers many different forms of corporal punishment – from slaps on the mouth to actual spankings and even (sadly) literal beatings. Obviously, this is not a desirable situation.

    But even people who purposely became parents are prone to breakdowns in logic. They made plans and had expectations about parenting. And when those fall apart, they too fall back to a system of reprimand that has been passed down for thousands of years.

    However, in the latter’s case, “spanking” is likely a clearly defined process. And I feel that this is what is the most important caveat for the use of spanking – a clear definition.

    My definition for Spanking – There are two forms of spanking. The first is most certainly the preferred method. A child is warned that their behavior will result in a spanking. Do not try to “bluff” the child. They will call you out every time. Do not give more than one warning. The child will come to see warnings as meaningless posturing. After the one warning, if bad behavior persists, take your child into a separate room. They will likely struggle. Don’t drag them by their limbs. You are an adult not a monster. Carry them by using a “bear hug”. Once separated, issue three swats to the posterior. The goal here isn’t to harm the child. The spankings don’t need to hurt because they aren’t actually the consequence. The entire process before hand is where the learning happens. The child misbehaved, you warned them, they tested your resolve and you showed that you were not lying. The child learns that you are not to be tested. In fact, the spanking may not be necessary. If you’d prefer, just let the transfer to the secluded room be the punishment.

    … the second form of spanking is less preferable. It’s a pavlovian response system. The child is given one quick swat on the bottom IMMEDIATELY upon performing any “bad behavior”. It is of utmost importance that the punishment be immediate. It’s what connects the bad behavior to the jarring event of the spank.

    It’s effectiveness is highly dependent on the parent being ever present. And it’s undesirable because there is no warning.

    Obviously, there are a plethora of other ways to instill an understanding of what is good or bad behavior. But you’re reading this because those aren’t working.

    So, we’ve discussed the parent as a fallible human and the need to have a clear definition of “spanking”.

    Now, the Child…

    We often make subconscious assumptions about what a child understands, especially as the become teenagers. Children don’t come into the world knowing colors, math, how to fold a blanket, which shoe goes on the left foot or what the word “left” even means. You’re probably saying “duh”, but we’re all guilty of it.
    You may tell a child “Remember to flush the toilet.”
    Sounds simple to us, but unless you’ve been defining everything every time you say anything, there is no reason to assume the child knows what the words “remember”, “flush”, or “toilet” mean.

    I know it seems like we’re still talking about the parent, but I’m trying to explain the difference between parent and child along with how important it is to recognize how the child sees the parent.

    The child is small, weak, clumsy and hopelessly ignorant. They see the parent as gigantic, strong, highly skilled and inconceivably knowledgeable. Maybe not in those words though.

    So the Child, in their extreme youth, probably doesn’t even recognize that they are just a young version of you. You may as well be an alien. As they grow they’ll understand that you’re actually both human beings and that one day they will be just as capable as you, but their youth makes that time seem like an eternity. And finally, when they become an adult and begin to leave their parents, they are left with warped memories of how amazing or terrible their parents were.

    And by the time they become a parent themselves, their knowledge of what childhood was like is condensed into a handful of highly formative and often distorted memories.

    The child is… well, they’re stupid. I apologize, but “ignorant” doesn’t describe it properly. In ignorance you simply don’t know. But sometimes children are certain that they do “know”. It becomes more evident as their age climbs into the double digits. You’ll say “be careful when crossing the street”,”remember to brush your teeth”,”put your dishes in the sink”,”get your things ready for school tomorrow”, etcetera.

    And the child says “I know”. But do they? Despite the daily reminders, do they actually retain the knowledge and forethought you’re trying to instill? The question is rhetorical.

    So, as much as we’d love for simple communication to be the only thing necessary for rearing an intelligent and admirable child, evidence shows that it isn’t.
    And that’s just for trying to help them make good decisions.

    Helping them to NOT make BAD decisions is both more important and ludicrously impossible. You cannot stop children from making any bad decisions. Even if you could always be present for questioning, you’re not omniscient or infallible. But, until the child grows up enough, that’s how they see the parent. Which is why the truth of their parents imperfect humanity can hit a kid hard. It shatters their world view and causes them to question the validity of the way they were raised.

    And it happens subconsciously.

    The child’s disrespect and rejection of parental authority is tied to their realization that their parent can make mistakes.

    This, in my opinion, is the most difficult part of being a parent and a child. It’s not a situation that’s easy to discuss. Both parties needing to recognize their fallibility but also still trying to live up to certain expectations of one another?

    One might start to view every family unit as a miniature government with opposing parties constantly making accusations or attempting to manipulate a “compromise” in their favor.

    But the truth is, that would actually be a wonderful system. At least it would mean discussions were being had and opposing viewpoints were being considered.

    Most family units are actually more like a dictatorship, monarchy or even sharia law – where power of decision is uneven, discussions are frequently denied and eventual rebellion or secession is the most likely outcome.

    Sigh.

    I should wrap this up.

    My final point is this – honest discussion is the most important thing in any family. Speech and empathy are a human feature that greatly separates us from animals, but often go underutilized.

    Don’t baby-talk a five year old.

    Don’t deny candid conversation to a growing child.

    Don’t lie to your kids.

    Don’t lie to yourself.

    Make discussion the most important part of parenting.

    Make corporal punishment the absolute last resort, but don’t use it as a threat – spankings should be a promise you’d rather not make.

    One more thing…

    Don’t do good-cop/bad-cop. It builds hatred toward one parent and it’s not always the one you’d assume.

  67. Ness Says Reply

    Ok… And how exactly does positive parenting play out with children with ADHD? My 4 year old doesn’t grasp that her choices have consequences- which means the alternative choices listed here are ineffective for her. Any guidance you have for that, Deb?

  68. G Says Reply

    Just an observation but a lot of the comments that are pro hitting there children are men, which is a worry, hitting is the easy way out, lazy and if uv already decided u are going to hit ur child before even having them then please don’t have them, these jokers that think there kids respect them when they just can’t tell the difference from fear.

  69. Elizabeth Gorberg Says Reply

    Smacking your child does no harm if they feel loved and respected!!! End of story!!!

    • Deborah Godfrey Says

      Unfortunately, it is logically impossible to smack a child and leave them feeling loved and respected. The very nature of this act is demeaning, humiliating and confusing to a child. This is why parents, such as yourself, that spank, must then explain to your child why you spanked and that you did it because you love them. Unfortunately, this message is not directly translated to a child, most will misinterpret the act. There are SO MANY more ways to effectively discipline your child that make spanking obsolete, unnecessary, and mediocre as a discipline tool. I am here to teach you MUCH more effective ways to discipline.

  70. Positive Parenting Concepts For Ditching Frustration | Official Web News Says Reply

    […] parents become frustrated by their baby’s crying and they start raising their voices or even slap the child. This might get you reactions from adults but with kids it doesn’t work. By raising your […]

  71. Michael Says Reply

    Hi,
    I found your article very helpful. Thank you. Also, thanks for this outlet. We have five children. Today I spanked two of them. I am not traditionally a “spanker”. I usually don’t even have thought. Today I walked away from a volatile situation to decide what I would do. I thought to spank them; and made the decision to carry it out.
    I was spanked a few times as a child, I don’t remember if it had a negative impact. I just remember it being almost comical.
    Unfortunately I am not laughing tonight. In fact, I feel like an awful father. One of the children looked at me with a look that crushed me. A look like “how could you do that to me”?
    I did my best to explain afterward, the “why’ of it. It was easy to tell them what they did wrong. What was difficult was to explain or justify that what I did was right.
    I felt like a connection was broken. Like something had been lost. There was confusion on both ends.
    I found my self potentially over compensating during bed time by producing an enormous amount of love.
    They were both receptive and seemed to be ok.
    What I’ve learned is that I don’t like they way I feel. The risk of affecting their self-esteem, or causing them to be afraid of a possible outcome with respect to me is just something I am not willing to risk. I want them to always feel safe and open.
    I have read a few peer-reviewed articles about spanking since the event today. I am not convinced that it is an effective form of punishment/discipline.
    I want to go wake them up and apologize for my poor decision. I won’t of course, but tomorrow I’d like to communicate effectively and answer and heal their hearts question… and mine.
    If you respond to this I’d love some more resources on discipline.If you have any suggestions I’d appreciate them.
    Thank you,
    Michael

    • Deborah Godfrey Says

      Michael,

      Thank you for sharing such a personal and heartfelt analysis of your experience with spanking your kids. I think you are a hero and I applaud you for your search, both inward AND outward.

      One of the natural out comes of the 8-Week Positive Parenting Class is that parents no longer spank or yell at their kids. The objective is to learn ways to discipline that build respect and trust while at the same time correcting their misbehavior. We do all that WITHOUT coercive or punitive forms of discipline. This is not letting them get away with anything! I consider myself to be relentless with “kindness and firmness” together.

      It sounds like you are in the perfect “place” to be receptive and open to learning these ideas. I would welcome you to class and very much look forward to working with you.

      If you have any more questions, feel free to email me at debbie@positiveparenting.com

      Again, thank you so much for sharing your experience in a format that benefits other parents!

      Debbie

    • Tiffanie Says

      I see where you’re coming from but there’s a difference between spanking from the beginning and one day out of nowhere you decide to start spanking. That definitely can be confusing for them. I do spank my son only as a last resort and after i do he understands that I’m serious and he needs to listen if he doesn’t want to be in trouble. After its over we love in each other and its ok. I just wanted to say my piece and Im in no way trying to tell you that how to be a parent.

  72. An Alternate to Spanking – Apps Kids Play Says Reply

    […] Reference: Kvols, K. (n.d.). 9 Things To Do Instead of Spanking. Retrieved August 6, 2015. http://positiveparenting.com/9-things-to-do-instead-of-spanking/ […]

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  81. Manana Says Reply

    Spanking your child wont change anything.friendly,calmly can solve the problem

  82. Amy Says Reply

    I was whipped a lot when I was little, and although I’m ok now it made me terrified of my parents. Ever since I can remember my parents use to take off my clothes and my underwear and whip my bare bottom and vulva with a belt. The stinging welts and bruises it left were just awful. I wasn’t even that naughty of kid – they just seemed to whip me for any reason at all. It’s definitely better to not use violence to discipline your children.

  83. swapna Says Reply

    Very helpful and useful information

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  86. Tiffanie Says Reply

    Brittany! Are you kidding me right now?? Please tell me your comment is just a joke because that has got to be the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard in my 24 years of living. My parents spanked me as a child and guess what it did… It made me respect authority. I now have a 1 year old son and will raise him the same way my parents raised me. I completely agree with Brian, Larry and Jess and anyone else who truly understand the power of a good spanking. Now don’t misunderstand spanking your kid for beating your kid because they are completely different. I give my son a warning and if he still doesn’t want too listen i distract him with some toys and then if he still goes back to what he was doing that he’s not supposed to that’s when i give him a butt whoopin and that’s when he knows I’m serious and goes to do something else. So please tell me how I’m supposed too get my one year old too listen to reason.

  87. Loz Says Reply

    One year olds don’t have the capacity for reason like an adult, so you’re beating him for something that he has no control or option over which makes you a bully and in my view is fucking child abuse. My girl is also one and is the absolute last person on Earth i would ever hit.

  88. JoannR Says Reply

    Millions of years spanking worked. Children were raised knowing not to cross the line. There were no school shootings, teen pregnancy was almost non existent, drugs…. kids were raised knowing they had to act like human beings or their ass would be spanked. Yup, all of that crap above is what caused our kids to be in the shape we now find ourselves. Parents who don’t want to put the hard work into the job and want to be buddies and not parents. Congratulations …. happy yet??

    • Kala Says

      I completely agree, these parents nowadays are out of touch with reality.
      These kids are out of control, they’ll do what they want, when they want.
      I knew kids who never got spankings growing up, and everybody hated them. They were snobs and never thought before they spoke. One of those kids shot and killed a classmate of ours, and he came from a good home . So don’t give these parents this misleading information about spankings. Don’t beat your kids , but please spank them.. or they will be the next one a walking into a church,school or any place doing what seems to be the trend nowadays.. btw these kids that have been doing these horrible things , did not receive spankings. So rethink your outlook on this matter .. nobody’s saying to beat your kids ass.. but you can’t play the parent that always reasons with your child.. the real world doesn’t work that way ..

  89. kia Says Reply

    Got to agree with Joann. Spanking, in certain situations, to a certain extent, is absolutely necessary. I feel as a parent, you need to know what to pull out of your tool box and when. I was never spanked as a kid. That is because there was never a need to. I was a quiet and well-behaved child. My siblings, on the other hand, were not and they were spanked. So far my siblings and I are some of the kindest and most gentle people you would ever want to meet. There is no one size fits all parenting. Every one is different and some will require different things. Use your judgment. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, will ultimately become the people that they want to become. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t force it to drink.

  90. jill Says Reply

    the assholes who spank are the same assholes who put leashes on their kids rather than teach them to pay attention to their surroundings and stay close. i am seeing my daughter put leashes around her dolls now thanks to what shes seen. it completely disgusts me and i have to somehow exolain to her why people arent amnimals and shouldnt be on leashes. i heard it best a ling time ago when someone said example you child hits another kid and you punish by smacking your child… that only teaches them that there are appropriate times to hit. and thats a load of crap. there is always anither option.

  91. Ilovemysonintensleybut... Says Reply

    Not every child is the same. A child’s personality has everything to do with the intensity of the discipline required. My son for example is very strong-willed and when he gets into a fit, getting down on my knees and making eye contact (and I’ve tried) is of no benefit to the situation. He simply wriggles from my hand and returns to what he doing sometimes more intensely. However, I find that I get his attention with a whack on his hand or legs. Then later, when he calms down I try to explain simply why he was slapped. He is three years old by the way and reasoning at this level is very close to impossible. I do not, and will not however apologize to anyone for this approach. On the other hand, if you have a more docile/compliant/cooperative child it may be easier to impart discipline void of spanking.
    While I do not intend to spank my child forever, but I do feel that it is necessary for toddlers with intense personalities— usually those with the inborn conviction that they are leaders.
    Additionally, while I sympathize and empathize with the commentors who have had very negative experiences with spanking- I do not believe that you have developed emotional issues simply because you have been spanked- but because of the attitude with which you were spanked. Disciplining your child must be married to understanding. Many parents however do not spank from a place of understanding and as such they hurt the child more than add benefit to the child’s existence. Calling children names, swearing at them, staying angry at them is wrong. If your child feels that the discipline was a strike on the love you possess for them then it will affect them negatively. If you have had to beat your child do not do it simply because you are angry— do it with dignity. if your child comes to you for affection in his/her tears do not refrain from giving it and importantly let then pain end with the incident. That is, do not continue being upset with your child after the punishment. That will help your child to understand that you are not upset at them but at the misdemeanor.

  92. Ilovemysonintensleybut... Says Reply

    In discipline we must remember it is not about destroying will but establishing clear lines between right and wrong. Not withstanding that not it is not a requirement to spank for evrything, Before you spank your child think about whether it is a lesson in right and wrong or simply about getting your way. That is the difference between respecting/ nurturing and dominating/abusing your child.

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  94. Dave Says Reply

    Stupid or not stupid, evil or not evil…regardless….I have never seen any of these alternatives work. I can say that spankings, not BEATINGS, worked fine on me and my sister. And although my sister does not spank her kids, she agrees that she and I suffered no ill effects from our punishments. And believe me, I had a lot, but never the same one twice. Also, I had been lying about doing wrong far longer than I can remember getting spanked. Lying is normal for a child.

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