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What is a good alternative to spanking my child?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
A better way to discipline a child instead of spanking is to first understand what's going on. Children act out when they don't have words to express their frustration and anger. To teach your 4-year-old how to express his thoughts and feelings, you might say, "I know you're feeling tired and wish we could go home, but we can't. We have to finish grocery shopping." This helps him release the tension he feels from being trapped somewhere he doesn't want to be and shows him what he can say to you to make you understand his feelings. It doesn't always work. Sometimes you just have to leave the store before you want to. But it's important to offer that help so he can learn impulse control and how to use words in place of actions. Remember, whenever you feel like spanking your child, take a deep breath and count to 10. You're the grown-up and should be able to come up with an expressive and thoughtful alternative to spanking your child.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.