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Does anyone still smack? what are the best alternatives too extreme stubborness and boundary testing?


Posted anonymously, 10th March 2014


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  • I dont smack but I will admit Ive lost my temper at my kids. Time out to calm down helps the adult as much as the kids I think.


  • I avoided smacking. I found repetitiveness was the best way to deal with most issues.


  • If you can smack consistently and not out of anger then it’s not so bad. You need to give warnings, and be specific about what the smack is for.
    There are alternative methods you can do and are often better over time than snacking which us only short term learning. Time outs, very clear removal of consequences. Decide together (when in good moods) what appropriate punishments are… Like no TV. Stay away from food punishments if you can as it teaches food to be an emotional reward. If your child isn’t cognitively up to that try naughty corners etc.
    Also do LOTS of positive comments when they are behaving. Like ‘wow you were very kind to share your toys’ ‘you have been using such a positive voice today and not complaining’. Try not take a compliment back if they change later, rather say you would prefer them to use the earlier behavior. Whatever you do, you’re the parent. Good luck and hang in there :)


  • Would you smack an adult? If not, don’t smack a defenceless child. Children can actually be reasoned with. You just need to have the patience to do it. All they learn from a smack is that if they are upset by something someone does they are allowed to hit them. If a child is being “naughty” then it is usually because they are tired, hungry, or their emotional needs haven’t been met. Try sitting down and talking to them about the situation. Sometimes they do need a time out just like everyone else but they don’t need to be sent to a time out/naughty corner to do this. How would you feel if someone did that to you when you were overwhelmed with your feelings? You could try creating a nice peaceful place with their favourite story and a couple of special items and get them to go there to calm down and then discuss the situation.


  • smacking moderately is okay once in a while to let the kids know dad and mum are really upset and angry.


  • I use a smack as a total last resort other than that I use taking away treats or with older kids I change the internet password


  • We gave the occasional smack, it’s no use me telling you time out works or this and that work, what works with one child won’t work with them all.


  • Occasionally. I find slapping my leather couch with a flat spatula and getting that great “cracking” sound followed by “do you want to be next?” Works a treat, no smacking required. We are more a fan of putting their nose on a wall (or the table if we are out) works best, a minute to start and an extra minute for any subsequent.


  • It really depends in the child! Some don’t respond to smacking and some do, we may smack ours as a last resort but it won’t be the first option — it’s all trial and error, we’re finding!


  • a smack on the hand has never hurt any child


  • there are some good comments here


  • This is a very big question to ask!


  • I also think you are brave for asking this question. I definitely smacked my kids as toddlers and used time out but as they went to school just used time out. For me it’s an age thing, toddlers are too little to reason with and sometimes time out doesn’t cut it.


  • We smack as a last resort, normally its timeout in their rooms for as many minutes as their age ( my daughter is 3 so she gets 3 minutes. We dont prolong the time in there either. if we say 3 minutes then thats what they get, even if she carries on in there, i find this works alot. my older son who is 7 sometimes chooses to stay in there for “Me Time” and comes out when he is ready.


  • i dont smack. because if you see you child smack another kid you would tell them off. so i would try to set an example. try a naughty chair or take away a toy


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