Although not every parent believes in spanking, for those who do, especially single parents that have added stress in dealing with children, I wanted to provide some alternatives to consider. I know that I only spanked my children on rare occasion. Instead, I found positive ways of discipline that actually were far more effective. Today, I have a 22 and 24 year-old, both wonderful and well adjusted adults.
With spanking being such a controversial subject, experts have begun to conduct some in-depth studies to determine the long-term effects on the child. It was discovered that study after study showed children who are spanked often deal with depression, low self-esteem, and as adults, tend to work in low paying jobs. Again, while I am not against an occasional spanking to get the child’s attention, other options should be included in your list of arsenal.
Typically, when it comes time to spank a child, your buttons as a single parent have been pushed and pushed hard. Before you spank or discipline, take a few minutes to calm down so you do not take out your frustration or anger on the child. Even if you need to hide away in the bedroom or take a short walk, calm down. Most often, telling a child that you need to calm down and you will deal with the discipline in a few minutes is a worse punishment than the spanking itself.
On this same subject, being a single parent is tough. Your time will be less, bills higher and overall responsibility difficult. Keep in mind, there are many advantages as well. Regardless, you want to take care of yourself by eating right, getting enough sleep, and not sweating the small stuff. This way, you will find you have a clearer mind and the patience of a saint when dealing with bad behavior.
Keep in mind that just because you choose not to spank does not mean you should be weak. Instead, you can get the same message across by being firm yet loving. Before you move to spanking, get down on your child’s level so the two of you are eye-to-eye. Then, rather than ask your child why he or she did something, you are the parent so you set the rules. You simply say, “These are the rules of this house so I’m telling you this is the way it will be”. With discipline, too many parents get into an argument or power battle with the children.
Finally, do not be afraid to offer your child choices. For example, if you have a child that is watching television with a sibling but changing the channels to be annoying, you could tell the child, “You have two choices, you can sit here and behave by not turning the channels, or you can go to your room and find something else to do.” By giving your child a choice, he or she feels in some kind of control while you are still the “boss.”