This financial new year make a resolution to stop smacking your children. Children can drive you mad but smacking does not work in the long run and can cause serious harm.
Here are NAPCAN’s top ten tips on helping your children to behave well without hitting them.
1. Take a few deep breaths. Count to 50 or recite the alphabet.
2. Give everyone some space. Walk around the house, go outside or do some stretching.
3. Phone a friend or relative or make yourself a cup of tea and relax.
4. Recognise the problem – is your child feeling tired, hungry, and cold or worried? Fix the problem and the behaviour may improve.
5. Tell your child clearly and firmly what they have done wrong. Be clear that it is the behaviour you don’t like, not your child:
6. Don’t give attention to bad behaviour. Catch them doing something good and praise them!
7. Talk with your partner about how you want to bring up your children and don’t undermine each other.
8. Share the care between the adults and support each other in having regular ‘time out.’
9. Listen to your children and respect their point of view. Work out family rules together.
10. Family life can be fun. Spend time with your children playing a game, kicking a ball, cooking a meal and eating together as a family.
Hitting children means that they don’t learn to manage conflict and teaches them that violence is the way to get what they want. This may affect how they deal with other people as adults so it is worth working on this resolution until you master it. NAPCAN produces brochures which provide additional alternatives to smacking. You can order these on-line by going to: http://www.resources.napcan.org.au/