What’s the difference between child discipline and punishment?

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Sometimes, parents can confuse child discipline with punishment. It's okay though as we are here to clear that matter up. Read this to know the difference.

How to discipline your kid by punishmnents

Learn how to discipline your child — without the ‘negative’ effects of punishment!

Contrary to what many parents may think, discipline is the act of teaching a child to be responsible, self-controlled and obedient. This is usually done by setting guidelines, rules and expectations for your child.

Discipline also requires you to follow up disobedience with consequences that will teach children the value of obedience. It’s all about learning from their mistakes.

In a sense, discipline is a process that is part of character development.

Punishment, on the other hand, focuses on the misdeed. It is all about making the child feel badly for what they have done (or not done).

In other words, punishment is a single act of displaying disapproval for a child and their actions.

Love should be our main "driving force" for disciplining our children.

Love should be our main “driving force” for disciplining our children.

What it means to discipline your child

When you discipline a child, you have the child’s best interest at heart. Your intent is to teach the child what it’s like to grow and learn from their experiences.

When you discipline your child, your intent should be to help your child take ownership for his wrongdoing, to hold him accountable and to give him the necessary skills for making wise choices in the future.

Thus, discipline is all about:

  • Helping our children understand their wrongdoing
  • Requiring our children to acknowledge their wrongdoing
  • Helping our children understand that they need to ask forgiveness for their wrongdoing
  • Requiring our children to ask forgiveness
  • Requiring our children to make retribution for their wrongdoing
  • Teaching our children right from wrong and requiring them to act in such a manner
  • ‘Doling out’ consequences that fit the ‘crime’ — remember, the point of discipline is to teach our children

Reasonable consequences include grounding, loss of privileges, extra household chores, and so forth.

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