Posted in Family & Parenting

Children’s MD: To Spank or Not to Spank


Children’s MD offers some great ideas for disciplining without spanking (although one could also use these ideas in addition to spanking):

So what do we do instead of spanking?   In our house we do a lot of service projects for people we have disrespected.  If you mouth off to me, you might need to help me with laundry, or gardening, or cleaning the bathroom.  If you are mean to your sibling, you might have to help them with homework or clean their room.  Exercise can also help calm strong emotions.  Sometimes I’ll send a child outside to walk a few loops of our cul-de-sac.  If a child is truly out of control, they usually have to sit in the bathroom and draw a picture or write an essay about the issue at hand.  Those too young to draw pictures just have time out in the bathroom, one minute for each year of life. Five-to-eight- year-olds often have to copy essays I have already written.  My favorite starts like this: “Attitude is a choice.  When I have a bad attitude, I am hard to live with.”  If they refuse to write their essay, they get a longer essay.  Until the essay is written there are no privileges such as tasty meals, toys, extra-curricular activities, etc.  Different children have different needs and temperaments, and there is no one-size-fits all form of discipline.

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