When Does Discipline Begin?

Is It Ever Okay to Spank?

What's Wrong with a Little Swat?

Some parents think it's okay to swat a kid on the hand or the bottom. After all, many of us got spankings, and we turned out just fine, right? It's not as simple as that, experts say. First off, as your child grows, that little swat won't stop him, and your aggression will only have to escalate. Also, children learn by imitating us, so if you hit, they'll come to learn that hitting is an acceptable way to deal with frustration. Finally, hitting doesn't truly teach anything. Sure, your child may listen, but that's out of shock and fear. Instead, you want him to develop an inner sense of right and wrong, and hitting simply doesn't teach that.

Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the March 2008 issue of American Baby magazine.

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