Spanking Debate: A Generational Divide

Murphy acknowledged that it was tough to discipline effectively, but said that parents can remove privileges or TV time or any other activity children enjoy, rather than spanking them.

Many parents and grandparents claim that they never spank in anger, but children experience spanking as a sign of anger, Murphy added.

It's important that parents discuss their disciplining philosophy with other potential caregivers, but they also need to teach their children how to behave when they're in someone else's home, Murphy noted.

If parents are aware that a caregiver -- such as grandma or grandpa -- is annoyed that the children aren't behaving, then parents must either speak with the children or be willing to come and take them home, she added.

Anne Pleshette Murphy Answers Your Parenting Questions

After the "Good Morning America" report, we received several questions from viewers for parenting expert Annie Pleshette Murphy. Check out her advice below.

From Carol in Georgia: My 18-month-old grandson has begun to have temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way. How do you begin to use discipline to teach him that this is inappropriate behavior?

Annie Pleshette Murphy:

Tantrums are no fun -- especially for the child having the meltdown -- so an important first step for any and all of his caregivers is to recognize that he isn't pitching a fit as a way of manipulating you.

He doesn't think to himself, "I really want that candy and if I have a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket aisle, my grandma is going to give in and buy it for me, so here goes my bid for an Oscar."

He does think, "I really want that candy!" And when he doesn't get it or when he feels overwhelmed or frustrated, he can't control the tidal wave of emotions that follow. He also doesn't have the language skills to say, "Gosh! That is so frustrating! I really want that candy."

So there are several ways you can try to help him. First, get down to his level or pick him up and hold him firmly and say, "I know you're really mad. I know you wanted that candy. But you can't have it." Then tell him a story or distract him with something else (I used to carry a mini flashlight in my purse that my son loved to play with, which I called my "tantrum tamer").

Do not, under any circumstances, give in. And if you're in a public place, ignore all the people around you.

Just tell yourself, "I don't know these people. I'll never see them again." And focus on your grandson. The other important thing is to try to identify the times of day or the things that seem to set him off.

Sticking to routines, making sure he has healthy snacks and plenty of rest can do a lot to keep the terrible tantrums at bay.

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