Discipline Causing You Stress?

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Here are some guidelines


The South Gauteng High Court ruled that the common law defence of reasonable chastisement is not in line with the Constitution and no longer applies in our law. This means disciplining your child in the form of a spanking is no longer considered legal within South Africa.

It has always been considered a crime of assault to hit a child, however, if a parent was charged, they would be able to raise a special defence which said that if the chastisement, or discipline, was reasonable they would not be found guilty.

The special defence of chastisement has been removed by the Court, which was to bring the common law in line with the Constitution. This followed an appeal by a father who had been found guilty of assault because he beat his 13-year-old son. The way in which he beat his son was deemed to exceed the bounds of reasonable chastisement.

The Court said that it wanted to guide and support parents in finding more positive and effective ways of disciplining children. The Court said that protecting children was particularly important in the context of the high levels of child abuse and violence that pervade our society.

Source: https://schnetlers.co.za/2018/05/25/spanking-your-child-is-illegal-in-south-africa/


Place Your Child in Time-Out

Placing a child in time-out can be a much better alternative. When done correctly, time-out teaches kids how to calm themselves down, which is a useful life skill.

But in order for time-out to be effective, kids need to have plenty of positive time-in with their parents. Then, when they're removed from the situation, the lack of attention will be uncomfortable, and that discomfort could remind them to behave better in the future.


Take Away Privileges

Taking away a privilege hurt longer. Take away the TV, video games, his/her favourite toy or a fun activity for the day and he/she will have a reminder not to repeat that mistake.

Make it clear when the privileges can be earned back. Usually, 24 hours is long enough to teach your child to learn from his/her mistake.

So, you might say, "You've lost TV for the rest of the day, but you can earn it back tomorrow by picking up your toys the first time I ask."


Ignore Mild Misbehaviour

Selective ignoring can be more effective. This doesn’t mean you should look the other way if your child is doing something dangerous or inappropriate. But you can ignore attention-seeking behaviour.

When your child tries to get attention by complaining, don’t give it to him/her. Look the other way, pretend you can't hear him/her, and don't respond.

Then, when he/she asks nicely or he/she behaves, return your attention to him/her. Over time, he/she learn that polite behaviour is the best way to get their needs met.  


Teach New Skills

Kids benefit from learning how to problem-solve, manage their emotions and compromise. When parents teach these skills, it can greatly reduce behaviour problems. Use discipline that is aimed at teaching, not punishing. 


Provide Logical Consequences

Logical consequences are a great way to help kids who are struggling with specific behaviour problems. Logical consequences are specifically tied to misbehaviour. 

For example, if your child doesn’t eat her dinner, don’t let her have a bedtime snack. Or if he refuses to pick up his trucks, don’t allow him to play with them for the rest of the day.

Linking the consequence directly to the behavioural problem helps kids see that their choices have direct consequences. 


Allow for Natural Consequences

Natural consequences allow children to learn from their own mistakes.  For example, if your child says he's/she’s not going to wear a jacket, let him/her go outside and get cold, as long as it's safe to do so.

Use natural consequences when you think your child will learn from his/her own mistake. Monitor the situation to ensure that your child won't experience any real danger.


Reward Good Behaviour

Reward them for good behaviour. For example, if your child fights with his/her siblings often, set up a reward system to motivate him/her to get along better with them.

Providing an incentive to behave can turn around misbehaviour fast. Rewards help kids to focus on what they need to do to earn privileges, rather than emphasize bad behaviour they're supposed to avoid.


Praise Good Behaviour

Prevent behaviour problems by catching your child being good. For example, when he’s playing nicely with his siblings, point it out. Say, “You are doing such a good job sharing and taking turns today.”

When there are several children in the room, give the most attention and praise to the children who are following the rules and behaving well. Then, when the other child begins to behave, give him praise and attention as well.

Source: https://www.verywellfamily.com/alternatives-to-spanking-1094834