How to Discipline Your Child Without Yelling or Spanking

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When parents discipline their children with yelling or spanking, it's often a result of emotional venting and is not particularly useful because of the negative side effects. Learn how to discipline children with guidance-based strategies with help from a licensed clinical psychologist in this free video on children and discipline.

Part of the Video Series: Parenting & Discipline
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Video Transcript

Hello. My name's Dr. Craig Childress. I'm a clinical psychologist in Pasadena, California and my specialty is in treating ADHD spectrum issues, angry oppositional children, parenting issues and family relationship problems. And today, I'm going to be talking with you about how to parent without anger and and yelling and spanking. Now, one of the important things about anger is it can be used in three different ways. The first way is sort of an emotional venting where we feel the feeling and we just, sort of, explode it all over the room. It feels good to do that, but it's not very useful and it tends to create just a negative atmosphere, emotional relationship atmosphere, all the way around. It's not a particularly useful way to use anger. The second approach to anger is when we direct it more, we target it and in that case, it's used more as a punishment where we're directly angry at the child for something and we're inflicting suffering, which is, all punishments were inflict suffering. And so we're using anger to inflict suffering on our child as a punishment. It's useful in that regard to some degree, it does make kids uncomfortable but it has a whole lot of negative side effects, particularly around some of the relationship systems and it tends to foster a psychological loneliness or alienation in children that we have to make sure that we repair and and and treat after we're getting angry. The third approach to using anger as a social communication and that's where we flash it relatively quickly and in small doses so it's more like annoyance and we flash a little annoyed face or an angry face, our tone gets a little bit harsher but it's used within social communication. And what the communication means that each person has the ability to influence the other and when we use it as part of the communication system, it's helpful to follow it again with a warm and positive emotional tone to indicate that that "I'm still in dialog with you and I still care about you." In terms of physical punishment and spanking, in truth, there's really no need to it. We can get wonderful kids without beating them. I know a lot of families where they have used a lot of physical discipline and resulting gang members. I know other families where they have never spanked their kids and won, wind up with wonderfully responsible and mature children. So spanking isn't necessary for discipline or for to to achieve a healthy, emotionally, socially and psychologically healthy child. In terms of how we use authority, I would recommend alternate punishment strategies if that's what you're going to do. In particular, I would recommend that you you learn about how to use guidance based strategies in which we scaffold the child's matured development, which means we support the child in developing mature behaviors rather than trying to punish away the misbehaviors and I'd recommend relationship based strategies where we have a warm and positive emotional tone and we get, enlist the child's cooperation with us rather than simply using discipline and authority based strategies to try to gain obedience. Thank you very much. If you want to learn more about this, you can visit my website.

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