Punishment - Non Physcial Methods
When a child's form of punishment is physical the lesson becomes lost in the translation. All they learn is the being physical is the answer. That lesson translates into every aspect of their life and some children react in using the same type of physical behavior when dealing with others because they don't know any other alternative. The other alternatives haven't been taught.
Other methods of punishment could involve loss of privileges, removal of special items from their bedroom, their game systems, computer, loss of hand held games, no television after supper, no special treats or rewards on the weekend. There are always other recourse that can be put into play. A chart can be created with a if this happens, this is the course of action that will be put into place. The forms of discipline all depends on the age of the child. A toddler usually receives a time out. I've known those parents who when enforcing the time out makes them fold their hands and set them in their lap. If there is something special a child enjoys like playing a game on line, that privilege can be taken away for a specific time period.
When handling older kids in the junior high school age they have the privilege of going to the next dance revoked. They can be reprimanded by not allowing them to attend the next football game, the next social evening event, not going to the movies with their friends. These type of reinforcements teach them a clearer view of what punishment is about and how to relate to in a more positive way. For the young girls no allowing them to go to the mall with their girlfriends brings out the devil in them yet, I bet the next time they consider being rude, disrespectful or talking out of turn they will think before they react and consider what the consequences of their actions will be. Is that alternative worth their need to act out? Most likely it isn't.
Prepare a chart listing the rules of the house, what behavior your expect and what the punishment will be if the rules and behavior are abused. Explain what each of them mean and even ask for their ideas on what house rules and behavior rules they feel are important. This way your children can't say, I didn't know that, you didn't explain that to me.