FEWER parents are spanking their children to correct indiscipline, many of them out of fear that they may find themselves at the wrong end of the law. With more laws being implemented and in the pipeline directed at protecting children against child abuse, parents are having to explore new ways of managing indiscipline without even having to lift a finger.
This week parents share other methods they have found to be effective that they have been using instead of spanking.
Tony, 43, farmer and father of three — (17, 14, 9):
Well, I've never really believed in the beating thing because I see how beating made my cousin lose his eye. In my house it's just the 'bold eye' that my kids have to get and they start acting right. We don't hit them, but I guess they don't want to take the chance.
Kenneisha, 30, lecturer and mother of two — (9, 10):
I confiscate valuable items from my children at the drop at a hat once rules are broken, and they of course completely understand rules. For repeat offences, I sometimes send my children into time out or sign them up for community service until their behaviour improves.
Sharan, 36, physiotherapist and mother of one — (13):
My child has a very active social life – this week movies, next week dancing, bowling, sleepovers. She wants to do it all, and that is fine with me once she follows the rules and upholds the level of discipline she was taught. If and when she acts out of character, I cancel all activities. I still make my contributions but she doesn't go, and her friends know it is because she was not a good girl. Also, I send her to karate, to reading classes, and to volunteer during the period. Even though volunteering is something she loves, I think she can constantly be learning the importance of being grateful, kind, caring, understanding and respectful.
Gary, 34, taxi driver and father of three — (4, 6, 7):
My wife has a way of going into their rooms and picking up every single thing that she knows they can't get enough of. She doesn't leave anything at all. I think very often we don't see them doing the same thing that their things got taken away for, but since they are kids the things might happen one or two times again, but after that we are good.
Kaye, 29, admin assistant and mother of one — (6):
I send my daughter to the naughty corner. Her father always thinks it is American, and that she should feel two slaps against her skin, but he doesn't want to do it because I guess he wants me to be the bad cop. In all honesty, it works very well because she loves attention and she doesn't get that in the naughty corner. She likes to move around, and she can't have that in the naughty corner. I think she would rather be a good girl than have to deal with the naughty corner.
Jecilicia, 27, cosmetologist and mother of two — (8, 11):
I threaten to send them to the country. When they're in the country they don't have access to TV (my mom doesn't want one), they would have to walk to school (my mom thinks the distance is short), they would have to eat whatever is cooked (you don't get a say unless you are allergic), you wear what she gives you, church is four times weekly, and you help with all household chores. My mom is very old-fashioned and she thinks I spoil them because I had them young, so she makes sure not to spoil them whenever they stay with her.
Tavia, 41, small business owner and mother of one — (10):
I have a reward and demerit system that is based on behaviour and my son's attitude in school or towards people. I subtract or add points daily, and at the end of the month I either give him a reward or he has to give back something of my choice. Two consecutive months of demerits will mean that he loses the right to the item, and we give it to someone else – a family member, a child in need, or a more deserving child.