Smacking is a hot potato in parenting education and views are often quite polarised. Without getting into the debate we just thought we'd post a summary of tips and advice we've collected over the years that present real alternatives to smacking. Here's the list:
* show your child what they can do rather than try stopping them from something they shouldn't do
* tickle them until they are out of breath with laughter
* clap your hands (as loudly as possible) to get your child's attention and provide clear instructions in a serious tone
* distract them with something and shift their attention away from what you don't want them to do
* remove an object or gently take your child away to another place
* ignore tantrums - while they are throwing a tantrum there is not much point engaging with them, wait until they are finished and then tell them calmly what you'd like them to do
* explain consequences if behaviour continues (e.g. removal of toy, etc)
* start signing a song that you know they really like and get them to join in
* tire them out by running around or doing lots of physical activity
* remind them that they've got a choice and can act like a little baby that needs to be told what to do or a "big boy/girl" who is grown up enough to know what to do
In all of this it's of course important to have realistic expecations, keep calm, remain firm, consider the situation (you or the child may be tired) and to keep instructions simple.
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