Your dinner is still getting ready and you’re yet to lay the table, the phone doesn’t stop ringing, the TV is super loud and this is the moment your kid decides to accidentally drop an entire packet of peas on the floor. Your first instinct is to go spank the life out of your kid and you may even do it. But in doing so, you’re probably negatively affecting your child’s psyche and setting the stage for him/her to become violent, aggressive or abusive as an adult. Sometimes, adults who were beaten as children also tend to be less confident or low on self-esteem. Here are some things that you can do instead of spanking or hitting your child, when angry.
Firstly, calm yourself down. It’s natural to feel extremely agitated or angry when so many things are seemingly getting out of control. But, here’s where you must control yourself. If it helps, get away for a few seconds, count to ten. This will help some of the stress down and then you will be able to find an alternative solution to your problem.
Spend time with yourself
Once our family comes in, it becomes tedious to let ourselves out and be with our own thoughts. But this is important at any stage in life. So, ensure that you take time out to do things that you like. A simple walk alone, or reading a book could be helpful.
Firm but polite
It can be very frustrating to get your child to listen to you repeatedly. Sometimes children can be stubborn. This is when, you must not raise a hand, instead speak to them calmly. You also have to make sure that you get your point across, so get down, make eye contact and firmly, but politely tell them that you want them/do not want them to do something.
Give them choices
A simple alternative to spanking, a choice to decide how they want to be treated for bad behaviour can simply set your kids right. If your child is watching TV way past bedtime, you could give them a choice to either sit there or sit in the balcony the entire night. If your child still doesn’t want to obey, you can lead them outside for a while and probably demonstrate that you actually mean what you are saying. Stick around so that your child isn’t scared.
When your child exhibits bad behaviour, teach him/her the consequences of such behaviour. If you spank them instead, they are going to be afraid of committing a similar mistake in the future, not because they have learned from their past but because they are scared. They could also learn to blame their faults on someone else, lie or simply try to not get caught. Their self-esteem is also likely to be heavily damaged.
For instance, your child breaks the neighbour's’ window accidentally, sit down and ask him/her the repercussions of his/her actions. Tell them that their action is going to cost the neighbours something and discuss how your child intends to repay that cost to them. You could tell them firmly that it is their responsibility to correct what they have done wrong and ensure that they fulfill it. This will ensure that your child doesn’t fear you but respects you instead.
Get your child to make up to you
Sometimes children break certain agreements that they have with their parents and this provokes the parent to spank them. Instead of that, try getting them to do something to make up for their behaviour. For instance, if your child is making too much noise with his/her friends and they are unable to follow the rules you have placed on them, talk to them, tell them that you feel hurt by their behaviour and get them to wash the dishes or clothes. This will make them feel apologetic and also teach them a lesson.
If your child tends to argue or yell back at you when being spoken to, do not lose your temper and hit him/her. Instead, talk to him/her calmly and let him/her know that you will be in the next room and ready to talk when he/she is.
Do not be violent
Sometimes children can irritate and do things that do more harm than good. In such a situation, do not panic or become violent. Don’t throw things about and pick your child up roughly. Use your patience and treat them with respect. Repeat the same action multiple times if needed.
Keep your child informed
It is important to give your child time to finish off the things that he/she has started. For instance, you are at your friend’s place and the children are playing together. Let them know that they will need to wrap up in five minutes because you will leave then. Make sure you go to the place where they are, talk to them seriously and then wait for them to finish up.