If you asked a group of parents in Michigan how to discipline a child you'd probably get a variety of answers.

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Let's go over some of them, and see what the law says is legal and illegal in Michigan.

Ways Parents Discipline Their Children

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I remember hearing stories about my dad getting in trouble as a kid at a Catholic school and the nuns would whack him on the knuckles.

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When I was a kid and talked back, my babysitter put a bar of soap in my mouth.

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I'll never forget how nasty that was.

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Another thing my babysitter would do when I acted up was give me a time-out in the corner.

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I think the thing that worked best for me was taking my electronics away.

How To Discipline Your Child The Smart And Healthy Way

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When it comes to disciplining a child UNICEF says shouting and hitting is a big NO NO.

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Shouting and hitting simply do not work and can do more harm than good in the long run. Repeated shouting and hitting can even adversely impact a child’s entire life. The continued “toxic stress” it creates can lead to a host of negative outcomes like higher chances of school dropout, depression, drug use, suicide and heart disease.

 

Instead, they recommend these five ways to approach disciplining a child.

  • Plan 1-on-1 time
  • Praise the positives
  • Set clear expectations
  • Distract creatively
  • Use calm consequences

Disciplining A Child In Michigan

When it comes to disciplining a child in Michigan, this is what's allowed and not allowed.

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Reasonable force is allowed: Michigan law states that parents can use "reasonable force" to discipline their child.

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This means that spanking with an open hand is legal, but if the force is deemed to be excessive, which can include too many slaps, Child Protective Services may become involved.

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Spanking is not abuse: According to Michigan's Department of Human Services, spanking a child is not against the law and does not constitute abuse.

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Spanking with an object is illegal: It is illegal to hit a child with an object, including a belt, stick, spoon, paddle, or shoe

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What Are The Potential Consequences of Spanking a Child With a Belt In Michigan?

Spanking a child with a belt is considered corporal punishment, which is legal in Michigan as long as it is reasonable and not excessive.

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However, hitting a child with an object, including a belt, is illegal and can result in criminal charges.

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If the force used is deemed to be excessive, Child Protective Services may become involved, and the parent could face charges of child abuse or neglect.

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Looking back at my childhood and all the crap I put my poor mom through, I got off pretty easy.

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