Alternatives to spanking…

“Is there any other discipline besides spanking?”   With Kerry’s permission, I am including part of her response to my previous post about consequences.

Here are some of the principals Kerry has shared when working with parents who are struggling with discipline at home.

1) Match the severity of the consequence with the severity of the behavior.

2) Only give a consequence you’re prepared and able to follow through on.

3) Don’t punish the whole family for one child’s behavior.

4) Adding something or taking something away will only be effective if you use something that is meaningful to the child. For example, mother ‘s consequence of keeping me in the house was not effective because I liked being in the house too. It was not a deterrent.

5) Don’t take away a healthy family activity as a consequence.

6) Set kids up for success. For example, if a child says something you don’t like and you decide to take away video game privilege, consider taking it for the night and not a month. A month is so far away that they lose sight of getting it back. There is a lot of evidence that suggests taking toys away for an hour two, is a way of giving children a chance for appropriate behavior, receiving reinforcement quickly, instead of waiting for a week. Of course, this will not apply in every situation.

7) I’m a bit of a bottom line kind of gal, and here’s my bottom line. If what you’re doing is not working, try something else.

dr pers , I support alternatives to physical punishment. I believe that there are other healthy alternatives to altering unwanted behaviors. Dispensing physical pain can lead to emotional problems. I often remind myself when dealing with young children, “compliance isn’t always success.” A long term behavior change is a very effective goal to consider.  Kerry    ©2007

Many thanks to Kerry, for these helpful suggestions.  To see the entertaining background of her post, see comments in “What other discipline is there besides spanking?”    © dr pers   2007

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