Nonviolent Alternatives to Spanking (page 2)

Nonviolent Alternatives to Spanking

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Updated on May 23, 2013

Create a calm-down zone. A calm-down zone is a modern alternative to a time-out. Rather than ostracizing a child who’s behaved badly, sending him to a calm-down zone gives him a chance to regroup and center himself. A calm-down zone should contain toys that can help your child relax, such as books, stuffed animals or art supplies. Many parents also create a calm-down jar full of water, glitter and food coloring. Children shake the jar and calm down as they focus on the swirling colors and glitter.

Unlike a time-out, parents can occasionally enter the calm-down zone with their child. This ensures children see the zone as an area to regroup, rather than a place to be punished. The objective is to calm, rather than discipline, at this point. Studies show children can process the lessons you teach better when their brains are calm. Sending them to a calm-down zone primes them to receiving lessons about what they’ve done wrong, and how they can do better next time.

Just say “no.” This one sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how often parents forget it in times of stress. A firm “no” said in a stern tone of voice while making eye-contact with your child can effectively end an argument. Refusing to enter into further discussion while your child is keyed up is important. Don’t escalate the argument. Instead, wait until your child is calm before having a brief discussion about the problem and any consequences.

Many parents spank because their parents did, as did their parents before them. Many experts urge parents to seek out new, nonviolent disciplinary tactics and break the cycle.

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