So, if you don't spank, then how do you discipline? Giving children choices and consequences and employing natural and logical consequences is an effective discipline method that teaches children responsibility, self-control, and consequences for their behaviors. For example, "Sally, I know you want to play with your brother's toy, but it's not okay to take it away from him while he's playing with it. You can choose to give it back to him, or you can choose to go to your room and lose your TV time for today. It's up to you, so you decide". When a child does break a rule, giving them a natural consequence is an effective way to teach them a lesson. For example, I worked with a child years ago who was caught spray painting on a brick wall at school. So, for his consequence, he had to spend a Saturday at the school removing all the paint from the entire school and then had to spend 5 days after school helping teachers clean their classrooms. I think he learned his lesson and that was a much more effective learning experience then grounding, spanking or yelling!
Of course, we are all human and as parents we are not perfect. We all lose our cool with our kids at one time or another. What is important is what we do after what we have done. When we make a mistake as a parent it presents a perfect opportunity for us to model for our children how one takes responsibility and apologizes for their mistakes. When our children see that we can take responsibilit for our actions, then we are teaching them how to take responsibility for theirs!