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Should I Spank My Toddler? – The Best Alternative to Spanking

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Have you experienced an urge to spank your toddler or child whenever he or she does something wrong? Do your anger and short temper sometimes get the best of you? Do you feel the corporal punishment at home is the way to go for disciplining your children or are there alternatives?

Now that my daughter is entering the terrible twos stage, she’s sometimes hard to deal with. I’m short-tempered and most of the time, we just don’t get along and we tend to lose patience with each other. There are instances when I really want to spank her but thinking about it, aside from the guilt from hitting my toddler, will spanking yield the result I’m looking for?

Dilemma

There has been a great debate whether to spank or not to spank. Some parents see this as the only solution to discipline their child while some parents feel that spanking a child is the total opposite of caring for them. In my opinion, most Filipino parents are the former, at least for Generation X and below. I was really naughty when I was a child, and I’m telling you, I got hit a lot. Looking back, I think I deserved most of them. Haha.

But, do I have to do the same thing whenever my child did something wrong?

Pros – in a controlled situation, it might be an effective form of discipline. It can instill respect and it can stop children from doing something dangerous.

Cons – it instills fear, most often it’s not effective and may lead to violent tendencies.

Legal Implications

Spanking has already been banned in 43 Countries.

In the Philippines, although there are laws that protect children from abuse and violence, corporal punishment is still allowed as long as it is just, reasonable and moderate in degree.

Canada’s  Section 43 of the Canadian Criminal Code states that that the use of force on a child is only allowed to help the child learn. The parent, caregiver, or teacher using force must be correcting behavior at the time it is happening, and the person must not use force on a child in anger and the use of force will only be allowed under the exception in section 43 if the child is between two years old and twelve years old.

I’m not a lawyer, but the term “reasonable” and “moderate” are subjective. I think it is safe to say, that with these provisions, just to be safe, we should definitely do away with spanking.

Alternatives to Spanking

Since spanking is now out of the question, what are the other ways to discipline your children without spanking them? In these article by Time and healthychildren I picked out two from the list my wife and I feel works for our daughter. Although the success rate is not always 100%, these techniques most of the time works.

  • Scold Strategically – Take note that this is not yelling but raising your voice to get your child’s attention and give them warning that what they are doing is wrong and that they might get in trouble.
  • Time-out – This is a technique that works well when a specific rule has been broken. We usually put her in a place that she doesn’t like to be in. Since we have a small home, we use our bedroom as her time-out place where she is away from her toys and other things she enjoys playing with. A good rule of thumb is 1 minute of time-out for every year of your child’s age.
  • Time-in – Sitting with the child, talking and comforting them while they are doing tantrums. Doing it in a calm and gentle manner and teaching them how to pause and reflect on their behavior.

Love Above All

We are two and half years old parents trying to get the hang of raising a child. We have our flaws as individuals but beneath it is the natural instinct to love and care for our daughter; to guide her to be the best person she can be in the best way we know how. We might be hard on her sometimes, disciplining her for things that she doesn’t even know is wrong. There are also times when we are wrong, but we try to learn from it and not do it again.

When all else fails, I think, love above all is the best alternative to spanking. 

What are your best alternatives to spanking? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments.

 

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