Not wise to spank children

We have to stop spanking children.

We have to stop spanking children.

We can raise healthier, better-behaved children through non-physical means of discipline.

And it might take us a major step forward to a less violent world.

So if spanking is counterproductive, what works better?

Try a combination of prevention, positive reinforcement and non-physical discipline.

l Prevention: You can create a home where it's easier for a child to be wellbehaved and productive, and where you are less tempted to resort to spanking.

Be clear that you are the parent who ultimately sets the limits and enforces the rules. But explain and negotiate as well.

Teach your children how to talk about their feelings, rather than act them out in misbehaviour.

Try to anticipate stressful situations and develop ways of handling them before your child's behaviour gets out of control.

Monitor your own levels of anger and be aware of what might trigger angry responses. Be patient. Remind yourself that young children need lots of repetition before they understand what they are supposed to do.

Express affection regularly. Try to be consistent in your parenting.

l Positive reinforcement: Children learn more about good behaviour from being told what they're doing right rather than what they're doing wrong.

Take time to praise and encourage your child when he's doing a good job and behaving well.

l Non-physical discipline: Explanations and reasoning are always the first line of approach, but they need to be appropriate for the age of the child.

Distraction is a great help with young children. Bad behaviour might end quickly if the child is offered a better alternative.

Verbal reprimands and timely reminders work best when they focus on the problem behaviour. Emphasise what's wrong with the action. Don't say: "You're such a bad kid!"

Time outs provide a space for breaking out of a cycle, calming down and trying again. Grounding and loss of privileges should be a final recourse.

If explanations and reminders aren't working in a particular situation a child needs to experience the logical consequences of misbehaviour. - Family education Network