– Corporal punishment is without a doubt the worst of all parenting methods, but many parents don’t know what to do instead. Although there are a lot of resources available about it, most of them are classified in “positive parenting” or “positive discipline” categories in bookstores or online. The common denominator is that they all advise against the use of any physical punishment. But since positive education techniques avoid corporal punishment, it may be useful to highlight the distinction between “punishment” and “discipline.” In principle, punishment means “to cause pain” while discipline means “to guide.” A much wiser approach.
– In fact, corporal punishment ensures immediate compliance but does not help a child to learn or to behave better. It only teaches your child to misbehave when out of your sight. Plenty of research has shown that positive discipline solutions lead to much better learning and development outcomes than hidings. But what are the best strategies for positive parenting? One excellent strategy is to emphasize what children do right, rather than what they do wrong. It implies to ignore their bad behavior (when it’s safe to do so, of course) and to give their good behavior full of encouragement.
Illustration from The Diary of a Birthday Doll (Wimimedia Commons)