Licensed psychotherapist Julie Hanks, LCSW was recently recognized as the number one online depression influencer by Sharecare for her extensive work promoting mental health resources online. Hanks has over 20 years in the mental…
New research by Tracie O. Afifi, PhD. at University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, suggests that physical punishment, without other forms of maltreatment such as emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, or exposure to domestic violence, are linked with higher rates of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, co-dependency, and personality disorders. Based on this research Afifi and her colleges estimate 2-7% of mental health problems in subjects could be attributed to physical punishment (Source).
Try these tips when you feel like using physical punishment with your child:
1) Focus on relationship
What inspires good behavior is a positive relationship and healthy emotional management tools. What is the purpose of my child’s poor behavior? What are my child’s underlying need and feelings? How can I help my child address those needs and emotions?
2) Prevent when possible
Avoid situations that push you or your child to the limit. Don’t let your child get too tired, too hungry, too bored, or too stimulated.
3) Notice the positive
Comment regularly on your child’s positive behavior, characteristics, and efforts. Let your child overhear you talking positively about her to other adults.
4) Use logical consequences
Whenever possible, allow your child to experience natural or logical consequences or his or her behavior.
5) Take a time out
Remove your child from the situation that is triggering the poor behavior so they can calm down.
6) Loss of privilege
Remove a privilege, like TV time or game time, for misbehavior. Each child may be motivated by the loss different different activities.
7) Add a chore
Require your child to do something that contributes to family life, maintaining the household, or acting in a positive way toward the person he or she has hurt in some way.
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