'Ignoring a temper tantrum can be effective'

Last year the South Gauteng High Court ruled that parents would not be able to use the common law argument of reasonable punishment as a defence for spanking their children.

The Afternoon Drive team received a call from one of its listeners who enquired as to what other ways there are to discipline your child if corporal punishment is prohibited in the home.

Joanne Joseph spoke to Associate Professor at UCT's Psychology Department Dr Catherine Ward to find more appropriate ways of disciplining your child, especially in their toddler years.

They key thing to remember as discipline is we often get it confused with punishment and what you actually want as a parent is to help your child develop the good behaviors.

Dr Catherine Ward, Associate Professor, UCT Psychology Department

Children who are one or two can be very challenging, but keeping your eye on what you want them to do rather than what you don't what them to do is a helpful thing to have in mind. One of the things you can do is praise and reward the behavior you want to see...

Dr Catherine Ward, Associate Professor, UCT Psychology Department

The other thing you can do with children that young, temper tantrums become a big thing, one strategy is to ignore the behavior you don't want to see. Ignoring a temper tantrum can be very effect way. Eventually the child will realise that this isn't an effective strategy and you can later talk to them.

Dr Catherine Ward, Associate Professor At UCT's Psychology Department

The other thing you can do is redirect their attention. If they are playing with something you don't want them to play with, give them something else you don't mind them to play with...

Dr Catherine Ward, Associate Professor, UCT Psychology Department

Click on the link below to listen to hear more from Ward...


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