Thursday, April 5, 2012

Difference between discipline and punishment, part 2

What is discipline?
Discipline is guidance. When we guide children toward positive behavior and learning, we are promoting a healthy attitude. Positive guidance encourages a child to think before he acts. Positive guidance promotes self-control. Different styles of discipline produce results that are different. Discipline requires thought, planning and patience.

The use of discipline is a process of thinking and trying. Remember, effective discipline:

  • Is good for both parent and child
  • Teaches a child to take responsibility for his or her behavior
  • Helps parents maintain a warm relationship with the child

The goal is to teach the child how to behave, not to make the child suffer.

What is punishment?
Punishment is usually hitting, spanking or any type of control behavior that is used to stop a child from misbehaving. Punishment does not teach children how to use self-discipline. It only stops misbehavior for that moment. Punishment may fulfill a short-term goal, but it actually interferes with the accomplishment of your long-term goal of self-control.

Punishment may take many forms:

  • Physical -- Slapping, spanking, switching, paddling, using a belt or hair brush, and so on.
  • With words -- Shaming, ridiculing or using cruel words.
  • With activities -- Locking a child in his or her bedroom, forcing child to sleep on the floor because he or she wet the bed.

This is taken from The Parenting Web by Dr. Louise Davis, as printed by the Circle of Parents.

Stay tuned for more on the differences between discipline and punishment...

1 comment:

  1. There is an old age debate about discipline vs punishment and how much of each is acceptable. i think it is human nature that every parent adores their children and do not want to resort to spanking and beating. However, while most parents start out innocently guiding their children, they quickly get frustrated and start lashing out. If a kid does not obey the discipline rule set out by the parent, then he is to be punished.But where i disagree with most parents is that the punishment should not be physical beating.I am a parent myself and fail to understand how a parent can hit a child.This practice was also prevalent in schools till not long ago. However, thankfully it is a criminal ac not to hit a child and the teacher in question can be prosecuted for it. Parenting is a synonym for extreme patience and calmness. If a parent is not careful, they can emotionally scar a child for life.