My kid is not phased by time-outs. Some kids just won't sit still in time out, especially smaller kids who are full of energy. Yet others don't seem to really care one way or the other and may go back to the behavior that them into it in the first place. If time-outs won't cut it for your kid, you do have other options. Time-out can be a good aid when it comes to disciplining kids. But it certainly is not the be all and end all and spanking is not the only alternative.
Spanking? No way! Each person has their own method and some, like me, are not fond of spanking. If you don't want to use this method and time-outs are not working, don't worry. There are plenty other methods to use. While it sometimes seems so, spanking and time-outs are far from the only options when it comes to discipline. I prefer to use positive discipline with my kids, which basically refers to any method that teaches the lesson in a positive way.
Think about the offense. When you want to teach your child a lesson, think about what was done first. The punishment should fit the crime. Don't be too harsh for a mild offense. This could actually cause resentment instead of teaching your child a lesson. At the same time, don't take serious offenses too lightly. The point is to teach kids there are consequences and also to teach them how to learn from their mistakes. If you want to follow positive parenting methods, whatever method you choose should involve something that will do both in a positive way.
Why did your child misbehave? Before you can come up with a plan that will teach your child a lesson, you first need to know the reason for the ill behavior. Was your child simply confused at the correct behavior? Did the child not realize the action was wrong? Did the child feel bullied or pressured? Was the child purposefully acting out or being mean? Think about what led to the misbehavior and develop your action plan from there.
What lesson are you trying to teach? Are you trying to teach your child to think about a better response next time? Are you trying to teach your child what's right and what isn't? Is your child hitting and you want to instill why that isn't a good thing to do? Do you want your child to know that walls are not for coloring, but coloring books are perfect for it? Think about the exact lesson you want your child to gain and go from there.
Put it all together. I find that when I consider the offense, the reason behind it, and what lesson I need my kids to learn, I come up with the best course of action. Sometimes, when in the heat of the moment and trying to think quick, parents can make the wrong discipline choices. We've all been there. Parenting is always a work-in-progress and we live and learn. Each family will have a different course of action that works for them in each situation. The important thing is that your motive always remains to do what's in the best interest of your child.
More from Lyn:
Positive Parenting Does Not Mean Zero Discipline
Easy Discipline Tricks for Babies
Guide to Positive Discipline for Children
*Note: The author's positive parenting method has evolved into what she calls Upstream Parenting.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network