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...