How to Discipline Without Yelling or Hitting

In an effort to raise good kids, many parents feel the need to punish their children. Whether it is through spanking or yelling at them, we all want what is best for our children as parents. However, as time progresses and research continues to emerge on discipline methods, there are questions about whether disciplining with physical punishment will help your child become a better person in the end.

In this post, I will outline some of those concerns and provide alternative ways to discipline your child without resorting to physical punishments like hitting or screaming at them when they do something wrong.

The Effects of Hitting or Yelling

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As you probably know, it’s every parent’s responsibility to teach right from wrong. Parents’ methods for carrying out this critical function vary greatly, with some opting for the ‘beatings till you learn’ approach. In contrast, others prefer the more enlightened methods of reasoning and understanding.

Every parent wants their child to behave. But when children don’t obey the rules, some parents resort to spanking or yelling at them. Though parents may believe they are helping their children learn good behavior, studies show that corporal punishment only teaches aggression and hurts their development. Instead of hitting or yelling, many positive parenting strategies will encourage your child to behave.

Why not spank? Corporal punishment has increased the risk of many mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, drug abuse, and alcohol dependence. Many researchers believe these effects are due, in part, to changes in brain development brought about by corporal punishment during early childhood.

Tips for Implementing Discipline Without Hitting or Yelling

  • Give Kids a Warning

When it is time for a child to transition from one activity to another, you might need help keeping them on track. Warnings can be helpful here, as they allow kids to prepare mentally and give them a chance to respond appropriately on their own without nagging or arguing later on.

Give your little one enough time before their next transitional period, so expectations are clear – let’s say that they have 10 minutes more until nap time or whatever change needs preparing for; this gives the opportunity not only for anticipation but also for independence.

If you get frustrated when your child doesn’t listen to what you’re saying, try giving them a warning instead of yelling. Using an “if… then” phrase can be helpful because it lets the kid know that there will be consequences for their actions and thoughts if they don’t follow through with whatever task or request was asked of them. For example, “If we pack away our toys now, then we will have time later on today to play once after taking a nap.”

A parent yells at a child; they frequently resist the parent’s requests, which almost always escalates into power struggles. The more you yell at your child, the less likely they will listen and comply with your instructions.

  • Clearly Define the Rules

The most effective way to prevent yelling is the implementation of rules and regulations in your household. To increase effectiveness, it’s best to display these throughout the home so everyone knows what they should be doing at all times.

Instead of yelling, nagging, or lecturing when your child breaks the rules, follow through with an immediate consequence to encourage better behavior next time.

  • Set Appropriate Consequences

Setting consequences ahead of time is an excellent way to prevent misbehavior in the first place. For example, if you know your child doesn’t like doing homework before dinner, make sure he does it immediately after school instead, or consider making it part of his pre-bedtime routine.

A significant key to practical consequences is that your child understands what will happen if they don’t follow through with their end of the deal. We want our children to grow into adults who know right from wrong and are appropriate in society. The key is consistency so parents and children can enjoy their bond.

Explain the drawbacks of breaking the rules to your youngster in advance. For example, use time-out, remove privileges, or implement logical consequences for your child to learn from their mistakes and develop better behavior.

As a parent, finding consequences that work well for all children may not be easy. However, each child will respond differently depending on their personality and situation. Therefore, it’s better to try different ones and keep track of which one works best for your child. Just because something worked well for one kid doesn’t mean it will work the same for another.

  • Provide Rewards and Praise for Good Behavior

Positive reinforcement can help your child to comply with rules by encouraging them. If there are negative repercussions for breaking the rules, be sure you also offer incentives for adhering to them.

Giving rewards is an effective way to help kids focus on good behavior. Children respond best to incentives when they focus on what they need to do to receive privileges rather than the undesirable conduct they’re supposed to avoid.

Aside from rewards, give the children behaving well attention and praise for their excellent behavior. Once the other children start acting appropriately, then offer them some recognition as well.

  • Time-out for You and Your Child

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If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a break. It’s best to discipline your child when emotions aren’t running high, as it takes patience and love to guide kids through challenging situations effectively. Calm down and do something else for at least 15 minutes before discussing it with your child again so that they understand what needs to be done differently next time under this new circumstance, along with any consequences if not followed through.

A Time-out can be a better alternative to physically punishing children, as it teaches them how to calm down in a tense situation. It is an important life skill that they will carry with them into the future.

Parents should spend plenty of time one-on-one with their kids, where they can express positive emotions and role model good behavior. Then, when the child is removed from a situation that’s getting out of control, they will learn to self-regulate better instead of resorting to more extreme measures like tantrums or aggression.


In the end, discipline without yelling or hitting is much more effective. Discipline doesn’t have to be a negative, scary word. It’s about teaching your children the skills they need to grow into self-sufficient adults with their values and principles. Allowing children to make mistakes is sometimes necessary for this process of building character and developing self-discipline. Additionally, it teaches kids to think about how to get their needs met differently and reduces the risk of becoming violent adults who resort to violence when things don’t go their way. Furthermore, they need to learn that there are consequences for their actions. Children must understand how their behavior impacts others, not just themselves.



I'm a Mom of two daughters, Freya and Ava. I love to share insights on how parents can be better parents. I write about topics that are relevant to me as a parent: things like parenting style, relationship, marriage, and balancing work and family.

Boss Parenting
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