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ways to discipline a child without hitting

Ways to Discipline a Child Without Hitting (full guide)

In the parenting space, spanking is a specific topic that has been well studied by parents across the globe. Many parents are not aware of the various ways to discipline a child without hitting, yelling, or even slamming. Many organizations are against hitting, slamming, and yelling as a discipline strategy.

 According to the American Psychological Association, psychical discipline poses serious risk to kids and its dangerous for parents to escalate it when they think its not working .Spanking, slamming, and yelling at children can lead to issues such as mental health problems, antisocial behaviors, and aggression, especially if a child doesn’t understand what is happening.  

Almost everyone has spanked their children or was spanked like a little kid. This technique might have worked at that time but remember a lot has changed. The modern world requires modern ways of dealing with our children. A lot has changed and using traditional ways of disciplining children might be ineffective. 

The best way to discipline my child

There are various ways to discipline a child without hitting, slamming, or even yelling. As a parent, you should be able to know which is effective to your child and which is ineffective. Choosing not to use physical punishment as a way to discipline a child might be a wise decision. 

 Out of the alternative of physical punishments, taking away privileges, using time-out, setting clear rules and expectations and teaching skills are the best ways to discipline a child. These ways have been explained below. 

ways to discipline a child without hitting
Credit: mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Healthy discipline strategies that work

  • Losing privileges

The goal is to implement ways to discipline a child without hitting, spanking, or even slamming. Taking away some of a child’s privileges makes a child realize that he or she has done something wrong.

Since losing privileges is the consequence of indiscipline, a child will try not to make a poor or inappropriate choice. This will make a child submissive and refrain from certain actions. If a child does something wrong, you can take away their privilege of playing games or watching television for 48 hours or even 24 hours. 

The duration will depend on the severity of the action (child’s poor choice). While doing it make the situation clear to the child. 

  • Ensure your rules are clear

If you have set clear rules, the probability of resulting in hitting or yelling as a discipline strategy will be small. Children who have household rules at the back of their heads will behave accordingly most of the time. 

Although children cannot always act accordingly, such clearly established rules will reduce the misbehavior chances. If a child misbehaves, act immediately by reminding them of the rules and you can even make them lose a privilege. 

As a parent, it would be wise to explain the rules in age-appropriate terms so that the child can understand them well. Ensure you are consistent with the rules and children understand that the rules won’t be changing anytime soon and there are consequences if they break them. 

  • Show and tell when wrong is done 

Sometimes, talking might do the trick. Sit your child down, show them the mistake and tell them why it’s wrong. This requires you to be relaxed and to use the right tone (use calm actions and words). Speaking loudly and being rough won’t be helpful at all.

This technique requires children to be taught right from wrong and encouraged to change their behaviors. 

  • Using time-out

If your children misbehave, give them a time-out. Let them go and reflect on their behavior as this helps them to develop self-management skills. 

Give a child warning, at most two warnings, then act. Giving warnings repeatedly without taking an action will make the child think you are bluffing and the technique will be ineffective. 

The period of a time-out is dependent on the age of the child. It’s recommended for the pre-set length to be one minute for each year. For example, if a child is five years old, he or she will get 5 minutes and if a child is seven years old, he or she will get 7 minutes. As soon as the time has elapsed, take them away from the situation. 

While in the situation, remind the child what he or she has done wrong. 

  • Positive Reinforce 

This technique entails rewarding children for good behavior. Children love rewards and more privileges and giving them away they can get more of them motivates them to act accordingly. 

If a child does something wrong, set a system that will make them avoid repeating it. Incentives have the potential to turn around behavior fast not only in children but also in grown-ups. 

Positive reinforcement makes children focus on earning more rewards for their appropriate behavior. They will try as much as possible to refrain from wrong acts. Staying positive while dealing with/disciplining children is vital. 

  • Alter the environment

If a child tussles toys, take the toys. This is what means is by altering or changing the environment. Removing what is making a child misbehave assists in changing a child’s behavior.

  • Ignore them for a while (selective ignoring)

This works perfectly especially in attention-seeking situations. Children sometimes do things to get attention. For example, whining to get attention. 

Pretending not to hear them and not responding at all might be effective in dealing with such attention-seeking situations. However, if a child does something wrong, you should not ignore it. Punish them accordingly. 

ways to discipline a child without hitting
Credit: amandacatherine from Pixabay
  • Let natural consequences teach them 

If your child doesn’t heed your instructions or whatever you say, let them learn naturally. Learning from own mistakes is one of the ways to discipline a child without hitting or even yelling. 

If you opt to use this method, keep track of the situation so as to make sure the child does not experience real danger that might pose a great risk to the child. 

  • Teach children new skills 

Children do not know how to react or behave in some situations. It is better to teach them how to address a situation than to punish them. 

Teach a child how to solve a problem and manage emotions so that they can be able to avoid and reduce some problems. 

Golden rules of discipline

  • Discipline with love 

While disciplining a child, let them know that you love them. Showing unconditional love to children even while disciplining them works magic, and is important as children understand that you are not doing it because you hate them.

  • Do it privately 

Disciplining your child in front of other children negatively affects them as most of them perceive it as an embarrassment. Disciplining should be done privately if possible.

  • Establish clear expectations and rules

Having clearly set expectations and rules avoids the need for repeating the same things over and over again. This makes family life easy and smooth. These firm rules and expectations make children respect boundaries.    

  • Consider physical punishment alternatives

Spanking, slamming and other types of physical punishment are not necessary. The various ways to discipline a child without hitting as discussed above can be used as alternatives to physical punishments. 

  • Distractions can be helpful 

Instead of disciplining your child, distract him or her. This works best in scenarios where a child is showing tantrums. Distractions take the child’s attention to other things hence calming down. 

  • Stand firm 

Stand by your rules and expectations. If a child misbehaves, don’t hesitate to push him or her. If you don’t stick to your rules, your children will most definitely not follow them.  

  • Don’t just punish, praise 

While punishing a child, make sure your actions, voice, and behaviors feel good to your child. This makes the child feel that the parent is doing nothing wrong by punishing him or her. 

An age-by-age guide to disciplining your kids

Tips on How to discipline your infants 

– Adopt positive language, avoid using negative words such as “no” or “don’t”.

– Use distractions. 

– Be an example. Set an example by yourself as infants learn by watching what others are doing. 

Tips on How to discipline your toddler

– Offer choices – toddlers love being in control and independent. Offering them choices might be helpful. 

– Time-out – a toddler is not an infant anymore hence time-outs can be an effective disciplinary method. 

– Be calm – show and tell her or him how to behave while being cool. Ensure you are simple and short enough for them to understand. 

– Be aware of tantrums. Using distractions, in this case, can be effective. 

– Teach toddlers not to use aggressive behaviors – educate them not to bite, hit, or even use other aggressive actions.   

Tips on How to discipline your preschooler

– Apply logical and Natural consequences. 

– Give your child a second chance after explaining what was done wrong the first time.

– Let the child know it is okay to be mad and do mistakes.

– Adopt time-outs.

– Allow children to make choices (offer choices).

Tips on How to discipline your school-aged kid/teens

– Have clearly set rules and expectations. 

– Talk to them calmly and explain the mistake done.  

– Use time-outs.

– Apply logical and Natural consequences.

– Take or add privileges depending on a child’s action.


Parents should discipline their children accordingly depending on their age. The various ways to discipline a child without hitting discussed above are the most effective alternatives to physical punishment. while discipline children be aware of the signs of strict parenting as well as disadvantages.

Although physical punishment such as spanking and slamming is used by many parents, it can be ineffective and lead to some issues such as aggression in children. One can adopt more than two ways of disciplining a child. Children are disciplined to shape their behaviors and actions.  

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