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Ways To Discipline a Child Without Hitting

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As a parent, it’ll reach a point where you need to discipline your child. Spanking seemed the only way in the past, but experts highly discouraged this punishment. You can discipline a child without hitting in many ways, which we will discuss in this article. 

Parenting is challenging and unrewarding, especially when our young ones wrong us. Honestly, I’m not a saint, and I admit I tried hitting as a form of instilling discipline in the past until I realized it wasn’t helping matters. 

Thankfully, we are always on a quest to become better parents. That quest of becoming the best mum led me to try other ways of punishment instead of hitting or spanking. 

Luckily, these other ways leave me guilt-free, and I hope they do the same for you. No mother wants to hit their child. It might feel right when you want to eliminate the behaviour instantly, but the guilt crops in immediately after you’re done hitting your child. 

So without further ado, let’s look at how to discipline a child without hitting and yelling. 

Why Is Spanking Wrong?

Although it might seem effective, hitting or spanking as a way of disciplining a child is wrong and can cause many adverse effects in the long run. 

Hitting Turns Your Child Aggresive

Children learn from their parents. While all you’re trying to do is discipline your child, their minds translate it differently. When you constantly hit your child, you show them it’s okay to be aggressive, and you’ll notice their aggressiveness as they grow. 

According to NBC News, children who are spanked regularly tend to be aggressive both at home and school, and they have an increased risk of developing mental disorders. 

Spanking Is Only Effective When You Are Around

Spanking is limited control over your child’s behaviour. You might feel its effectiveness because you are close, but your child will likely misbehave when out of sight. Firm verbal instructions seem to work better than spanking because your child will probably make the right choices even if you’re not around. 

Hitting Teaches Your Child That Violence Is Okay

We are raising kids for a better world. Domestic violence issues might not click in your mind if you’re not going through the same. But how you discipline your child today might affect a household in the future. 

As I said earlier, our children learn from us, and when you use hitting as a form of punishment, they might internalize that violence is normal.

This might affect them later on in their lives. If you’re raising a daughter, they might feel it’s okay for them to be hit by their future husband, and a boy might internalize that it’s okay to beat the wife. 

Hitting/ Spanking Might Reduce Your Childs’s IQ

Hitting causes stress to your child, which may, in turn, affect their intelligence. Research conducted by the University Of Hampshire in 2009 showed that spanked children had lower IQ levels four years later. The study further explains that even a small amount of spanking greatly affects children’s IQ. 

How To Discipline A Toddler Without Hitting And Yelling?

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Now that you’ve learned the negative effects of spanking, what are the best ways to discipline a child without hitting or yelling? Below are some of the best strategies you can use to discipline your child:

Withhold Some Privileges

There are privileges that your child is entitled to. You can withhold these privileges as punishment, not because you don’t love your little one but because you want your child to submit. 

Using this form of disciplining your child might seem complicated because you’d feel you’re being unfair. Cutting off privileges teaches your baby that their choices have consequences, and if they misbehave, they miss out on things they love. 


Time outs are also great because they allow your child to realize that whatever they have done is wrong. Set a designated time-out zone where you place your child and ensure no privileges for them to get distracted. All you want is for your baby to cool down.

While time-outs might be used to cool the child down, they can also be helpful to parents in equal measure. 

You can make it clear to your child that you are very upset and can’t deal with their arrogance and walk away.

Teach New Skills

You’re trying to teach your child to become a better person. Hitting as a punishment doesn’t teach your child to be better; instead, it sends waves of confusion in their minds. 

Use a punishment method to teach your child how to manage their emotions when upset. 

Give Choices

This trick has helped me raise my daughters because they know the consequences of their actions. 

For instance, you’re used to giving your kids a bedtime snack after finishing their homework and dinner. If they do the homework and feed well, they automatically don’t get the snack. 

It is more effective because it teaches kids how to make the right decisions from their childhood.

Teach Them Your Ways

Instead of hitting your child for misbehaviour, clarify that you don’t like their actions. 

Instead of scolding or spanking, gently tell your child what you expect from them. You can use simple language like ” I don’t like the way you throw your toys all over the room, and you don’t put them together when you’re done playing.”

Reward Positive Behaviors

One thing I’ve learned about kids is that they lose motivation when their good behaviours aren’t recognized, especially for toddlers. 

If you walk into your child’s room and notice that all the toys are put in their place, applaud them and let them know you appreciate their compliance. 

State Your Requests 

You can tell your child what you expect from them without making your requests negatively.  Instead of telling your child they can’t have ice cream because they broke a rule, you can tell them you will give them that ice cream if they don’t. 

One-On-One Time

The best way to get your child to behave well is by building a good relationship with them. Ensure you create time for yourself and your kids so they get to know you better. During this time, you can decide to do something together, like doing the dishes, putting away laundry, or even playing a little play. 

Lead By Example

You can’t get your child to behave well if you misbehave. Children are brilliant, and they learn from us. Teach and show your child how you want them to behave by doing the same too. 

If you don’t like messy spaces and want your child to adopt the same habit, ensure you do what you want them to do. You cannot leave your halfway coffee cup on the table for more than an hour and expect your child to take her plate to the sink immediately after eating.  

How Do You Discipline A Child That Won’t Listen

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In most times that I’ve tried to talk against hitting a child, most parents complain that their children don’t listen. You must start by building a close relationship with your child to foster good listening habits. 

Discipline cannot be instilled if there is no corporation.  As a parent, you want to ensure your child listens by talking to them gently and telling them the importance of good behaviour. 

It might not work if you don’t spend some time with your children or you don’t show them affection. Our kids often misbehave because they want to draw our attention. 

Set aside a few minutes or an hour with your child daily and have a parent-to-child talk. 

How To Calm Yourself Instead Of Lashing Out On Your Child

Take a deep breath

We all know how hard parenting is when your child starts being mean, arrogant, and misbehaving. When you reach this point, pause, take a deep breath, and respond calmly. 

Practice Self Care

Parenting is a marathon, and you’ll break down if you don’t get a breather. You need to take a step back and care for the most crucial person-you. 

We deny ourselves things in the name of taking care of our kids. Some of us get lost in the sea of parenting, and we forget entirely to care for our minds, soul, and body. 

Give Yourself Some Credit

You are already doing a great job, and the fact that you are here finding ways to discipline your child means you are a great parent. 

You deserve some praise. Give yourself a hug and a pat for being such an incredible parent. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual, so any step you make is a big win for you and your child. 

Gloriah Mnyaki
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