... featuring advice from our experts about how to punish kids without causing psychological harm.
A study published in the July issue of the journal Pediatrics discovered a link between adult-onset mental health disorders — including substance abuse and anxiety — and childhood physical punishment — including spanking — thereby begging the question: How should parents discipline their kids?
1. Cool down first. Never discipline when you feel angry with what your child has done. — Deborah Chelette-Wilson
2. Take a time-out. — Deborah Chelette-Wilson
4. Listen to your child. After you both have calmed down listen to what your child has to say about his/her behavior. — Deborah Chelette-Wilson
5. Understand the reason for your child's misbehavior. Armed with an understanding of your child's thinking, you may find that the misbehavior is really a reactive child engaging in a developmentally expectable behavior that needs your guidance, rather than punishment. — Deborah Chelette-Wilson
6. Tell your child what was wrong and what is right. When considering how to help the child, reassure him/her of your love and then explain why the behavior was not okay and what he/she needs to do next time. This is the behavior you want. Too often we tell children what not to do and leave off what they need to do. — Deborah Chelette-Wilson
7. Take a breath. Spanking often happens when you're so frustrated you don't know what else to do. So, take a breath, count to ten, and tell your child you need a few minutes to think it through. This will give you time to calmly think about a next step, or ask for help. (And you'll be modeling a great problem-solving technique!) — Fern Weis
8. Turn the situation into a learning experience. What you really want is for your child to learn something. Punishments (like spanking or taking something away) teach him/her to become clever at getting around you and your rules. But they don't make kids more cooperative. — Fern Weis
For a limited time only, receive a copy of our eBook "Love After Kids" (a $5 value) — yours free when you sign up for YourTango's daily newsletter!
Want to learn more? Tune in now through September 18 for the YourTango Experts intensive event, Love After Kids, featuring all kinds of advice and insights from our experts about the unique challenges of coparenting in the digital age.
More love advice from YourTango:
- 20 Crazy-Romantic, Creative Ways To Say 'I Love You'
- 10 Unmistakable Ways To Know He's Head-Over-Heels For You
- Why Can't I Find A Relationship?