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“My wife doesn’t want me to spank them, I get it – I don’t want to either but what else can I do?” These words come from a listener’s email, a desperate plea to figure out how to discipline kids and keep order during the daily grind.
This listener goes on to say “I got spanked, and turned out okay… I got more than spanked to tell you the truth, and I know what the constant barrage of words being screamed at me feels like. To be honest, I’d rather have had the spanking.”
This listener deftly identifies two things that do not work with kids:
1) a “constant barrage of words”
So, what do you do instead?
Listen to this episode to find out!
Go to weturnedoutokay.com/177 for key links.
First: a review.
Back in episode 175, about getting kids to listen the first time without shouting or (to use this listener’s term) a “constant barrage of words,” we talk about how their not listening is so frustrating for us that we may be tempted to spank.
In episode 175 I share about how spanking teaches that violence solves problems; that the bigger person is right; that the child is “bad.”
Today we go further into this “bad” feeling, discussing how spanking promotes the feeling of shame in children – well, in anyone.
We never want our kids to feel shame, because it warps their childhoods.
Kids can react very differently to feeling ashamed:
– Turning inward and blaming themselves/taking on guilt that is not theirs
– Lashing out and hurting others
– Feeling angry as a reaction to being made to feel shameful
Lots and lots of negative feelings come from negative discipline.
And that’s what spanking is.
So, what else do we do?
Here’s my advice:
1) Use positive discipline (not no discipline… We don’t want feral children!)
Examples of positive discipline include: redirection, making no sound like yes, allowing natural consequences to happen so that the child learns over time, and in a natural way, the results of her actions.
2) Understand that kids are doing their best.
If you’re struggling with these principles, I’m happy to recommend books, my own and others’, with solid information about what to do instead of spanking.
Here are links to podcast episodes I’ve done on different aspects of positive discipline:
Click here for redirection.
Click here for making no sound like yes.
Click here for a discussion about natural consequences.
Click here for the link to a fabulous book that every parent should read, by Eileen Faber and Adele Mazlish, Siblings Without Rivalry.
Click here for the link to my book, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, which describes some of the tactics above – and many others – in detail and will help you feel better in your parenting.
If you’re having trouble avoiding spanking – join the ninja parenting community. I help people figure this stuff out in there, and very specific to today’s episode I have a course module outlining my 5-step formula for “what to do instead of spanking.”
Click here to learn more about the community.
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