Frequent or severe spanking is a sign that a parent needs help. Parents who harm their children physically or emotionally may have a history of abuse by their own parents. They may have little knowledge of effective alternatives and be under considerable emotional pressure. They may have little knowledge of children's normal capabilities, lose their temper easily, or be impulsive. These parents need support and encouragement from others to learn more effective discipline choices. They do not need criticism and disdain for doing what they think best in raising their children. The SOUL strategy using options in the Responsive Discipline Toolbox provides an alternative to using pain to achieve conformity.