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If you discipline your children by spanking them, you are not alone. Andrew and JoLisa remember what it was like. “I was one of six children and we got the wooden spoon.” Now as parents themselves, they are split on the use of spanking. Andrew remembers, “I spanked my oldest son with the hand and left a red print on his leg. I never did it again.”

JoLisa believes that spanking can be effective when not done in anger and only used as a last resort. Children can learn their lesson but it’s not always easy because they can be defiant and parents can loose patience.

Everyone gets fed up or angry with their children at some point but many parents aren’t sure what to do instead of a slap or a spanking. Are there other effective alternatives to discipline? Studies show that most Americans use spanking to discipline. Some point to the Bible and others say the law backs them up. Lawmakers believe it is the fundamental right of a parent to decide on how to discipline their child. The supreme court recognizes that parents have the responsibility and the right to discipline their children, within limits.

Child development expert, Mary Jane McGuire Fong says, “When we hit, slap or spank a child, we are giving them a message that hitting people, when we don’t like what they are doing, is OK.” She believes parents can discipline without spanking. It’s a matter of setting limits. “We need to give clear limits, and in the same breath we need to tell the child what it is they may do.”

Experts say that allowing the child to be part of the solution gives a feeling of control. For instance, giving the child a couple of choices is one way of turning the tide. Many parent find that “time-out” works. Other parents find that getting down to the child’s level, while staying firm, is another good way of receiving positive results. Experience with discipline also becomes a good teacher for many parents.

While applying parenting strategies can be a challenge, it takes much more effort to think about the consequences of your actions. The experts say taking a more child friendly approach doesn’t hurt either. Children’s ego is strengthened and our parenting becomes ever so much easier. The end result of positive discipline is that the children are “doing what we ask them to do.”

(This story was provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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