Spanking is hitting. Spanking is meant to cause pain to control a child's behaviour. When you're stressed and angry, spanking may seem like a quick way to stop misbehaviour – but it doesn't work.
Spanking may cause your child to fear you and stop trusting you. Anger, resentment and shame can build up in your child, and this can hurt your relationship. These bad feelings can also hurt your child's self-esteem and ability to have healthy relationships with others.
All children need discipline. It teaches self-control, responsibility and acceptable behaviour. Unlike spanking, which uses pain, fear and shame, discipline means teaching, guiding and nurturing.
Discipline doesn't mean your child gets away with misbehaving. Discipline puts rules and limits in place early in life to give children guidance. It takes patience and commitment, but the rewards are worth it.
Some children are not able to do what you want because of their age or stage of development. A toddler, for example, wants to touch everything. This is a normal part of development. It is not "bad" behaviour. Understanding how a child develops will help you choose the best way to discipline as your child grows. Remember that all children are different. What works with one child may not work with another.
Your child knows the rules. You've reminded gently, but nothing seems to be working. So, what do you do next?
Choosing to discipline rather than spank is still the best way of getting through to your child. Testing the limits is natural and part of growing up. Teaching your child how to behave is up to you.
Your child will be happy and healthy if you are happy and healthy. When things get to be too much for you, take some time for yourself. Go for a walk, take a bath or call a friend. If that doesn't work, there are ways to get help. Relatives and friends, other parents and family resource programs can all help. So can we.
Get in Touch with us:
Toronto Health Connection 416-338-7600
Parent Help Line 1-888-603-9100 (24 hrs)