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Many parents feel that a well-placed smack on the tush is an acceptable way to discipline children. Learn what the experts say about spanking.

When your child is out of control, what do you do? Do you put him in time out or take away a privilege? Do you raise your voice, make threats or resort to spanking? How you handle unruly behavior can affect your child for a lifetime.

A nationwide survey showed that many parents still see spanking as an acceptable form of discipline, with 90 percent of them saying they have spanked their toddlers. Most of those questioned said they also spanked their older children. Alarmingly, 6 percent of parents of 4- to 9-month old babies also admitted to spanking.

Why spanking isn’t the answer
The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions parents not to slap, hit or spank their children. Experts say that spanking may work in the short-term, when children do as they are told out of fear. But in the long run, it can do more harm than good. Studies have shown that:

Children who are spanked frequently adapt to it, causing some parents to increase its severity.
Repeated spanking can lead to aggressive behavior.
Being spanked makes children believe that aggression is a good way to solve conflicts.
White, non-Hispanic children who were frequently spanked before age 2 had more behavioral problems than others once in school.
Spanking can lead to higher rates of physical aggression, substance abuse, violence and crime.
Spanking can cause low self-esteem, depression and poor performance in school.
Children who are spanked are more likely than others to discipline their own children in the same way. They may also grow up to abuse their partners.

Discipline with love
Spanking has been proven in the long run to be an ineffective form of discipline. When you punish your child, your goal should be to teach her, not to get even with her for bad behavior.

Children younger than 18 months are just too young to make the connection between the bad behavior and the punishment. More important, spanking a very young child can cause physical injury.

When your child’s behavior starts to spiral out of control, buy stendra deep breath, remain calm and try these tips:

Give him a time out (a minute for each year of age). Once he has calmed down, tell him what he did and why it was wrong, then give him a hug. This tells him it was his behavior – not him – that you dislike.
Redirect her attention. This works best with babies and toddlers. If you don’t want her playing with your cell phone, tell her “no” and give her a shiny, attention-getting toy that she’ll find just as fascinating.
Use positive reinforcement. Always praise your child for doing something right – instead of trying to catch him doing something wrong.
Ignore attention-seeking behavior. Walk away from a tantrum or calmly redirect your child’s attention to something else.
Use positive speech. Don’t call your child names. Showing her respect, even if you’re angry, teaches her to respect the feelings of others.
Hold onto your sense of humor. Sometimes the best way to defuse a tense situation is to make your child laugh.

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