Sad child curled up in a corner

Alternatives to Spanking Your Child

Author: CHKD Medical Group
Published Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2017

By Dr. John Harrington, General Academic Pediatrics

As a parent, there will be days when it seems impossible to get your child to behave. Is spanking an effective form of discipline? According to research, the answer is no. Spanking or hitting your child only impedes your child’s ability to learn and succeed in life. And it teaches them that it’s OK to hit others.

As parents, it’s important that we teach our children right from wrong, but there are non-violent ways to do so. Children learn best when they feel safe, valued and connected – not fearful or victimized. A calm parent who approaches as a helper instead of an enforcer will likely get much more cooperation from their child.

If you can understand why your child is misbehaving – maybe he’s hungry, tired or wants attention – you can teach him how to communicate his feelings in a more positive way.

Parents should set clear expectations and routines and either redirect young children or problem solve and reason with older children. Focusing on solutions will give kids tools they can use in all areas of life, for the rest of their life.

You can learn effective discipline techniques by attending a free CHKD parent workshop that will also help to ease frustration and avoid unnecessary conflict with your child. Additional information can be found in our online parent resource, which includes webinars, printable handouts and a health library full of information on how to effectively discipline your child.

And remember, CHKD pediatricians are a great resource for parents who have questions about their child’s development and/or behavior. They can offer guidance on handling whatever parenting challenges come your way.

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About CHKD Medical Group

Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.