DISCIPLINE AND PUNISHMENT ARE
NOT THE SAME THINGby: Denise
Many parents use the words “discipline” and “punishment” interchangeably.
The dictionary informs us that discipline is from the word “disciple” which
means “a student” while punishment has to do with “pain”, “harm” and
Taking a closer look at these two words allows parents to make
a choice as to what is in the best interest of their child as well as to
identify the specific goals of the “behavioral intervention.”
Even when done with the best intentions, punishment has been shown over time to negatively affect
academic performance, social competence and increase antisocial behaviors
throughout the childhood years and into young
If your goal as a parent is to “teach”, “train”, or help your child “develop” the
necessary skills to lead a successful life and make a positive contribution
to the world then “discipline” is the way to go.
Discipline is not just a word. It is an approach to life that includes,
above all mutual respect (between you and your child) and a reasonable,
related and respectful response to all behaviors.
Discipline asks us as parents to answer the following question: “How do I want to be
treated by others?” In other words, no matter how angry you are at your
child, he or she still needs to know that you love him. For some of us this
attitude comes naturally, but most of us need to learn the “discipline of
Here are some basic DISCIPLINE guidelines:
- “Respond” to your children in a respectful manner to correct unwanted
behavior rather than “demand” to exert your control over them.
Whenever possible include your child in finding a solution to a problem that
is preventing you and your child from having a positive relationship.
- Help your children make choices as a way of learning the skills necessary to
learn good decision making skills in their lives
The “Golden Rule of Parenting”
What is the most RESPECTFUL way of helping a child change negative behavior into positive behavior?
The answer will always be:
Remember how YOU (the parent) would want to be
treated by others.
And Punishment Are Not The
Same Thing was written
by Denise Esecson, MFT