Research shows that spanking your children can damage your relationship with them and have long-term negative psychological effects. That is why corporal punishment has been banned in South African schools. In 2017, the South Gauteng High Court ruled that it’s illegal for parents to hit their children, too.
So, where does this leave you when it comes to discipline? We look at three alternative tactics that don’t involve spanking:
- Say no. Most parents don’t spend as much time with their kids as they’d like to, so may find ways to compensate. This could mean saying yes when you should be saying no. We know it’s hard. But if you’re consistent and firm, your efforts will pay off.
- Call a time-out. This is not a new method, but it’s effective for many. The important thing is to act as soon as your child has misbehaved. Place your child in a corner or area with no amusement or toys and explain why they’re getting a time-out.
- Show appreciation for good behaviour. When your child picks up his toys, thanks you after a meal, or brings his plate and cup to the sink, give praise. A ‘well done’ or rewarding treat will encourage him or her to keep behaving well.
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