Baby Your Baby: To Spank, or Not to Spank

A big question for parents these days, to spank or not to spank! No one looks forward to disciplining their child, but sometimes it's something that parents just have to do. There are a lot of different opinions on how to discipline, but it all depends on what works with your child.

The mother of two young boys, Tonya Ward says, "I do not like to discipline, I hate it. I would much rather have the boys get along and I wouldn't have to be involved, but sometimes you have to, a lot of times you have to." Tonya's sons three-year-old James Robert and two-year-old William keep her busy. The two boys are the best of friends, but like all kids, they have their differences. Right now, they're going through a stage of not wanting to share. "We try to first let them work it out themselves, we may have to do a time out, or we may have to take a special toy or tell them they can't go somewhere." Because James Robert and William's personalities are so different, their parents have to watch the way they discipline each child. "Well James Robert is so easily disciplined, you can just look at him and he knows he's in trouble and he'll do what he needs to do. He has a soft heart, so it doesn't take much," Tonya says. "With William, we had to change a lot because he's a tough little boy."

There's one thing Tonya doesn't do with either of her boys, spank them. The debate continues, but most child care experts these days say not spanking is the best way to go. Family educator Missy Smith says, "Spanking hurts their self esteem and can really be a detrimental thing." Instead, experts say to use positive re-inforcement, letting your children know when they do good as well as bad! Missy Smith says, "A lot of times we tend to point out the behaviors children do, don't jump, don't sit on him. Instead it would be good if we could point out some of the things they're doing good, like I like how you're being quiet or I like how you're being nice to your sister."

That's what Tonya trys to keep in mind every time she has to get on to her sons. Many times, children do want to please their parents, their behavior may need to be corrected, but children, like adults, like to be praised. Whatever form of discipline you use with your child, it's important to make up with your little one after they get in trouble, but don't apologize for getting on to them, just let them now you're not angry.