Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Discipline: Spanking vs. Time Outs
Spanking is even illegal in most European countries. Many parents do it because they were spanked as children and can be surprised when it doesn't work on their own children. Even well-known pediatrician, Dr. William Sears, doesn't advocate spanking - and he has eight kids! Sears says spanking models violence, showing children that the way to resolve conflicts is by hitting, which isn't a good lesson for them to carry into adulthood. A well-executed time out seems to be the best way to correct behavior. Instead of labeling it as "time out," however, why not call it something less punitive? Experts suggest adding the child's name - "I think you need some Johnny time," for example, or calling it "quiet time." Set a timer, especially for younger children who may not know how to tell time, and give the child one minute per year of age. Explain why the child is in time out, then allow him to serve the time. When the time is up, remind the child why he went to time out and ask for an apology, then give a hug. This way, the child doesn't remember an angry mommy throwing him in the corner; he remembers what he did and that you still love him.