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Hit me, baby, one more time!

by Sammy-Jo on May 07, 2019
Physical Punishment: Hit me, baby, one more time!
We all know the feeling: the kids simply won’t listen and no matter what you do, the screaming gets louder and louder. Getting angry in this kind of situation is normal, and for many, their natural instinct is to hit or shake the screaming child. Should you follow that instinct? NEVER! If you need to know more about why physical punishment is a bad idea, keep on reading.

Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaking a baby or a small child can result in serious injuries, such as brain damage, blindness, paralysis, fractures, seizures and even death. This is referred to as “Shaken Baby Syndrome”. It’s okay to get frustrated if the baby won’t stop crying, but it’s NOT okay to shake the baby.

If you are unsure of why the baby is crying, you can…

  • Change their diaper
  • Feed them slowly
  • Offer a pacifier
  • Check whether they’re dressed too warm or too cool
  • Take the baby for walk in their stroller
If nothing helps, the baby might be sick, don’t be afraid to ask for help and call a doctor.

Alternatives

You now know how to deal with a crying baby, but what about toddlers or small children? If they simply won’t listen, try one of the following techniques instead of physical punishment.

Time out

When your Host Kid has behaved badly, take them to a calm space. Explain in simple terms what they have done wrong. Give them some time to calm down, the rule of thumb is one minute of time out per year of age. The time out should never last more than 5 minutes, though.

Taking away Privileges

When you feel the need to punish your Host Kid, do not hit them! Instead, try taking away their privileges. Warn them before taking action. If they’re still not listening, follow through: no electronics, no dessert, no playdate or whatever privilege it is you want to take away for the next 24 hours. Tell them that they lost that privilege for the day and how they can earn it back the next day.

Logical Consequences

Try teaching your Host Kid about logical consequences. If they are tired in the morning, because they stayed up late, make them go to bed earlier. If they don’t want to wear a scarf, let them leave without one. This way they will learn that their choices have consequences and wear the scarf the next day, because they want to, not because you force them to.

Keep calm and carry on

The most important thing to remember is that you are the adult. You have a lot of responsibility, so you need to be able to stay calm, no matter how wild it gets. If you get frustrated, don’t let it out on the child. Try letting your frustration out in a safe way, like listening to music, meditating and some deep breaths.

I hope you know by now that spanking and shaking a child is a terrible idea. Not only is it bad for your Host Kids, it also destroys the good relationship you might have had with your Host Family. Do yourself a favor and avoid physical punishment.

Until next time,

Sammy-Jo
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