Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing describe how you can properly discipline your child without yelling or spanking - click here.
Spanking or emotional abuse through speaking can have a lifelong, devastating impact, especially on children below the age of 10.
Since many children still need discipline and clear boundaries, you must have other options available to discipline your child when you’ve lost your patience. Here are a few suggestions:
Take A Break
If your child has just acted our severely, you may want to put yourself in a time out first. Take a breath and slow down. Your mind will be clearer and you’ll make better decisions if you are calm and focused. Give yourself a chance to calm down for a few minutes before deciding how to discipline your child and potentially overreacting.
You’re The Model
Since your job as a parent is to teach your child how to manage their emotions, you need to make sure your voice is calm and your body behavior is relaxed. Next pick your words carefully and remember to speak respectfully to your child. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach your child how to speak to others without anger or contempt. Angry parents can be very scary and intimidating, and your child is soaking in every word and action from you.
Rewind and Slow Down
One of the best things you can teach your child is how to effectively understand and solve problems that frustrate and upset us. A wonderful way to teach them how to understand what happened is to walk back through what just happened and explain why they are being disciplined.
There are more effective ways to teach and discipline your child than spanking or yelling.
For instance, removal of privileges is a very effective punishment for most teenagers since it restricts their freedom, which is highly valued during these years.
Remember that every time your child needs to be disciplined, you have another opportunity to teach them the attitudes and behaviors necessary for a successful and happy life.
"Longitudinal Links between Father's and Mother's Harsh Verbal Discipline and Adolescents' Conduct Problems and Depressive Symptoms," by Ming-Te Wang and Sarah Kenny, in "Child Development," 9/13/13