You all love your children and wish them to be little angels on Earth. Sometimes, they are while other times… Yes, they’re your children and you don’t want to hurt them but how will they learn consequences to their actions if you don’t use discipline? They won’t. However, there are so many better types of disciplinary actions out there that can replace the spanking ways of the past.
A full generation talks about ‘getting the belt’ or a ‘ruler slapped across the knuckles’ like they’re badges of honor. They did something wrong, they were punished and they most definitely learned from their mistakes. Sure, they learned but they can still learn (your children included) from their mistakes without using blunt force on your children. Whether or not you are for spanking (as spanking is just a light rap on the bottom or hand, rather than full-on pain and force), try these 15 alternate ways to discipline your child.
16 Tell Them What to Do
Telling your child what to do is one of life’s little happiness boosters. Getting to use the phrase ‘because I said so’ and have someone obey is a real confidence booster. Go ahead, use it a few times just to be cheeky and watch as your children groan and actually listen. But then, when they’ve done something they shouldn’t have, or are wanting to do something that lands squarely on the ‘no’ list, tell them what they should do instead. If they’re standing on the couch, don’t simply say ‘get down’, tell them to sit down instead.
15 Miss a Sports Game
You loved sports as a child, and now your child is taking after you. What was the most devastating thing that could happen to you? Missing a sports game or practice. By having a looming threat over missing a game, you can make them see that commitments outside of their hobbies and interests are just as important. This can also teach them not to let others down by being selfish in their own way.
14 Grow the Chores List
So, your middle child is acting the fool and your oldest is an angel. Now’s the time to reward your oldest for doing well in school, activities, and just genuinely being a pleasant person to be around. Give the one who is acting out their sibling’s list of chores as a form of punishment instead of hitting.
13 Get Rid of Technology
Before, you could take away TV time or the time spent on the phone gabbing with their girlfriends. But today, as technology is ever-changing and integrating itself into everyone’s lives, those ways won’t work. There’s always some new way to interact and chat with your friends, or catch up on your favorite TV show without owning a TV or a cable connection. Take away that beloved technology or restrict their technology usage to the bare minimum.
12 Give Them a Choice
Kids love choices; it makes them feel like a big kid or grown-up and makes them feel like their opinion matters. Give them the choice of continuing what they’re doing, or heading to their room for a time-out. You can even try giving them the choice between two suitable punishments. Do they want a time-out or a toy taken away for a week?
11 Jot Admiration Down
It’s kind of like writing an essay, or how Bart Simpson used to write on the blackboard every day in detention. Have your child write what they will not do while fighting--whether it’s with you, their father, friends, or their siblings. This is a great way to help them think about why they shouldn’t be acting out towards this person and to think about these reasons whenever they feel the need.
10 Take Them Away From the Situation
Much like a time-out and much like removing their toys, taking your child out of the situation will be a type of punishment that you can use instead of spanking. Nothing is more horrifying to a child than having to leave a store or playgroup because they have been acting out. Sometimes, even the threat of leaving stop them in their tracks.
9 Give Them a Time-Out
A time-out to think about what you’ve done has been used for years. Why? Because it works. What’s more boring than sitting and doing nothing but staring at a wall? Almost nothing. While doing nothing your mind also wanders, letting them think about why they got here in the first place and what they can do to not end up sitting by themselves bored out of their minds.
8 Be Consistent
Keep consistency in everything you do. Sure, you may be tired and may want to give in to their tantrums just to give yourself some peace and quiet. But associating tantrums to get what they want--especially if you’re trying to teach them the opposite--will just make matters worse. If they’re playing with something they’re not supposed to, and you let them a few times, how will they learn? If your boss told you that you could only have two weeks off for holidays, then gives you three, then reprimands you for taking that extra week, you’d be confused, right?
7 Don't Forget to Love Yourself
Give yourself plenty of ‘me’ time to keep from flying off the handle. If simply heading to the grocery store is cause for an anger session, that’s your cue that you need a little time to yourself to relax and unwind. Try walking, swimming, reading a book, having a bath--anything that gets you relaxed and ready to take on the day, and your child’s bratty ways.
6 The Consequence That Fits
Just like in law and justice, there are consequences that fit each action. A murderer wouldn’t get the same amount of time in prison as those who are caught with small amounts of marijuana. It doesn’t make sense and no one would stand for that. Treat your child the same way. Going overboard on something that can easily be fixed doesn’t fit the action. Instead, go over together how you will fix the issue, how it shouldn’t/will not happen again, and move on from it.
5 Keep Your Calm
Keeping calm in any kind of stressful situation is always a good rule of thumb. Keeping your cool when your child angers you to no end is a great rule of thumb. Even if you don’t think you would be the type to spank your child, if something stresses you out bad enough, your natural instincts will kick in and that may be the result. So, if spanking is something you definitely don’t want to do or are trying not to do, keep yourself calm, maybe even leave the room for a moment or two (if your child is old enough to be left alone), take a few deep breaths and then discipline your child with a cool head.
4 Be Firm
Your child isn’t listening to you, which is annoying you to no end. Not only are they disobeying you but they could end up hurt. Instead of hitting, talk to them softly but firmly, letting them know what they are supposed to be doing. Yelling doesn’t always work, even if it feels better than calming yourself down and talking politely. But, talking in a firm and definitive manner can go a long way in your child listening to you.
3 Give Them a Mulligan
Give your kid(s) the chance to have a do-over. Perhaps they were angry or just not thinking right. Sure, you’ve punished them and they understand why you did so, but they’re still going to be mad at you. You can let them make this up to you by doing extra chores around the house, or give them a second chance where the end result will most definitely be a grounding, etc. if they break the rules even in the slightest.
2 Let Them Know Their Sass Won’t Fly
Tell them before the tantrum that you won’t deal with any tantrums today or ever. They can go at it for as long as they wish but it won’t do any good. They may still try to take one the first few times but after you ignore their little outbursts, the tantrums will come few and far between.
1 Tell Them to Calm Down
Ever have your children become violent with another? Most likely you have. Most likely your child just got angered, didn’t know what to do with their anger and lashed out. Sounds like some pretty normal behavior but that behavior that doesn’t fly in society. Instead of just telling them to apologize right away, give them the option to apologize (and mean it) then on the spot, or to come back later when they’ve calmed down. If you’re angered at someone, you’ll most likely need a few minutes to calm yourself down, so let your child do the same.