Our expert says:
Hidings and smacks do NOT improve any such situation. Time-out in a naughty corner, etc, DOES work, with some patients and care by the parents. There must be a very clear explanation BEFORE such situations arise, of what the basic simple rules are, and how they will be applied. The lenth of time out should be around age in years plus one or two minutes, so he'd get 5 minutes to cool off. The explanation would include that this is what will happen when he breaks the rules, and if he then calms down, behaves well, and apologises, he will get a hug and be forgiven. When the problem arises, you calmly and quietly explain what he is doing wrong, and give him a chance to stop it. If he doesnt stop, you explain that he has now broken the rule, explaining how, and calmly take him for his Time Out. After the time, you go back to him pleasantly, ask for an apology about what he did wrong, give a cuddle, and welcome him back. Deirdre is wrong --- the approach shown on TV is based on good research and has been PROVED to work well, whereas the beat 'em and smack 'em approach has been shown not only not to work, but to promote later violence in the child. YOu're teaching them its OK to use violence to gety what you want, so its easier for him to feel its fine to use violence to get what he wants, too.
But a smack or hiding can never teach a child to respect other people, because it shows no respect for him. And I disagree with Paul here --- the kid if just over three --- unlikely to fully understand adult concerns and rules ( especially if they haven't been explain, or if they are, as is often the case, applied irregularly or in a contradictory fashion.
And as Bee says, other punishments for major infringements, work better if they involve removing a favourite toy for a day, or delaying some treat similarly.
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