Many parents struggle to find an effective way to discipline a child without spanking, but there are several methods that work very well to achieve the desired result of raising a respectful child with high self-esteem.
Set the Rules
Make sure that the rules of appropriate behavior are established and understood. Be consistent in applying discipline when the rules are broken. This is the best way for a child to clearly understand what acceptable and unacceptable behavior is and to learn that you are serious about discipline when they disobey.
Take a Time Out
Use a time out in a separate room or chair to calm the child. This will calm the adult as well. A time out allows some time to relax and consider the situation before any inappropriate discipline or harsh words are rendered. After this cooling period a rational discussion can commence to discuss what happened and why it was wrong.
Allow the Consequences
Let a child learn through the consequences of an action. A natural consequence is something that will happen if no diverting action takes place. An example of this is a child who refuses to eat dinner and ends up hungry. A logical consequence is determined by the person in authority and relates to the offense. For example, if a child does not do his homework he cannot play outside. The most important thing when allowing a child to suffer the consequences is that you protect them from danger and step in when necessary.
Introduce Something New
An effective way to diffuse a situation is to alter the sequence of events so that the focus is on something else. This is particularly effective when a child becomes obsessed with something. For example, a child who spends too much time on the computer could be given construction paper to work on a project. Providing another way to direct a child's energy will work in many cases.
Teach the “Why”
Each time you discipline a child make sure to teach them why discipline was necessary. Talk about what was unacceptable, why it was unacceptable, and what would have been acceptable behavior. Make sure that discussion takes place very soon after discipline but at a time when both the child and adult are calm. The lessons taught during these moments will pay great dividends later.
These discipline methods are all effective ways to discipline children without spanking.