Ways to teach discipline to your child instead of corporal punishment


Ways to teach discipline to your child instead of corporal punishment

There is a common proverb “There is no other better strategy than corporal punishment to control a child”. Even in my experience I have seen that, some of parents even do not have that realization that their parental slap, spank, whip, whop or use some other physically painful methods can be consider a physical punishment. This is really a matter of concern!
Why is it still a matter of concern? Still there are certain types of beliefs and causes to practice this strategy to manage behaviors. The general reasons are:
*    Parents are just repeating what their parents were just done to them. This indicates the vicious circle of modeling. This type of parents believed that as their experience of punishment had not harmful for them, so eventfully it will not actually bad for their children too.  
*    There are still some stigmas to continue this kind of unhealthy practice, like ‘The part of the body which is hit by their parents will go to heaven”, ‘who are not spanked will grow up to be spoiled!”
*    In terms of some guardian or parents, it is basically their style of releasing their stress. They displacing their frustration by yelling and punishing their children.
*    Some others having a tendency to do power exercise over the children. Corporal punishment always results in crying and compliance. By this, parents start to feel control over the situation by practicing punishment.
Now, let’s have a look on the impact of corporal punishment. This kind of physical abuse has short-term and long-term physical and psychological consequences. The physical costs are scarring, disfigurement, neurological damage, and even some are facing visual or auditory difficulties and others. On the other hand, the short-term psychological impacts are developing negative perception about self, poor academic performance, emotional dysregulation, and relationship difficulties and so on. The long term effects include aggression, domestic violence, and even to substance abuse. Beside this, this child may experience self-injury, suicide, anxiety, depression and other psychological discomforting state.
So, what can parents or legal guardian do instead of physical punishment?  First of all, to ensure the effectiveness of discipline, the guardian (Parents or School teacher) need to ensure the following things:
*    The guardian needs to have trustworthy relation to the child,
*    Rules should be consistent  and fair by the child,
*    Rules need to be age appropriate.
*    It will reflect on their growth.
After that, the caregiver needs to identify the target behavior and then assess the “antecedents” and “consequences” of that specific behavior. For example, a 13 years male child is throwing for several times. Here, the behavior is “throwing toys of younger brother or important materials”. The antecedents can be “Alone at home” and consequence can be “parents come to scold him”.
We can apply “Time -out”: this strategy is basically used to teach unacceptable behaviors. In this method the child take away from their interesting activities and attention for a short period of a time. Parents will arrange place for the kid where she or he did not get any attractive material, like mobile or toys and other facilities during that time. The time is from 1 minute to 5 minutes (precaution! if you said to your child for 3 minutes, then it should be for 3 minutes). If the child doesn’t follow the instruction, take her back to time out again.  

The writer is Assistant Clinical Psychologist
Center for Mental Health and Care

Published : Friday, 13 July, 2018 at 12:00 AM
by Saima Akther  in Daily Observer

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