3 ways to discipline your child without spanking them

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discipline your child

Studies have found that physical punishment, however ‘mild’, has a negative impact on a child’s mental and physical health. In fact, there is a causal relationship between chastisement and the development of aggressive behaviour in children. Nazneen recommends three positive and effective methods to discipline your child, without resorting to physical punishment:

3 ways to discipline your child without spanking them

1. Have non-negotiable boundaries

After teaching a child what not to do or when a child oversteps a particular boundary or rule, there should be appropriate consequences and repercussions, says Nazneen. “For example, when a child fails to do their homework without a reasonable explanation, then their laptop/cell phone/TV privileges should be taken away for a period of time in accordance with the misbehaviour. This teaches your child the causal relationship that every choice they make has a consequence – pleasant or unpleasant.”

2. Use misbehaviour as a learning opportunity

When your child misbehaves, try to understand the meaning behind the behaviour with empathy and compassion. “Engage your child in a discussion about what they have done and reframe the problematic behaviour. For example, when a child does not do all their chores, you can focus on how well they have managed to do other tasks such as making up their bed and how doing chores teaches us all about responsibility and taking pride in the things we can do well.”

3. Employ a reward system

At the beginning of each year, sit your child down and have a discussion about what their academic, sporting and personal goals are for the year. “If at the end of the year they achieve a particular goal, they are entitled to choose an appropriate reward. However, if they fail, then the reward is withheld. For example, if a child fails a school term, their sporting privileges can be withheld until such a time that their results show improvement.”

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