Most teenagers will rebel against authority, whether it is talking back, slamming doors, or staying out late I am often asked the question, “what is the difference between “punishment and discipline.” Disciplining your child maybe of the most difficult jobs that you will undertake as a parent. Yet few of us are ever taught how to discipline our children “effectively.” For some we learn as we go, or we may revert back to what was used to discipline us as children, or it may be a combination of both.
Discipline and punishment are often used interchangeably and can mean the same thing. However, “punishment” creates short term results while “discipline,” creates long lasting results. The goal of discipline is to help children think about alternative options, and to allow them to develop self-discipline.
Before I give you some examples of the difference between punishment and discipline, ask your-self the following questions:
Where did you learn discipline?
How was discipline carried out in your family as a child?
How did this method of discipline feel to you as a child?
How effective was this discipline?
What is Punishment?.
1. Your rules are inconsistent, severe, unpredictable open to interpretation and at times not enforced
2. It is about being told what NOT to do.
3. Love and rewards are held back.
4. It teaches them to be controlled by outside forces
5. It is either verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive, or all the above.
6. It is typically given out of anger or frustration because the parent is not in control of their own feelings..
7. Parents often do not recognize the difference between mistakes and misbehavior. Both receive punishment.
8. It is about “penalizing” the child and getting them to do what you want.
9. Punishment is often temporary, easy, and expedient and requires very little skill.
What is Discipline?
1. It is non-violent
2. Discipline is guiding children toward long-term positive behavior and learning
3. It is listening and modeling behavior that you want your children to emulate
4. They are held responsible for their actions and will have clear understanding of their consequences
5. Rules are consistent, clear and consequences are followed through
6. Consequences are applied immediately and age appropriate
7. It creates communication and trust
8. It teaches children various coping skills to solve their own problems
9. It is about knowing the difference between “mistakes,” and “misbehaviors” and using it as a tool for learning opportunities
10. Parents are still in control of their feelings and emotions
11. It allows the child to keep their dignity in tact