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Punishment vs Discipline for Parents

Parent expectations can often shape the way children behave. Open communication is the key to most successful and healthy relationships. By showing our children through love and modeling appropriate behavior, we can shape future strong leaders and contributing members of the democratic society in which we live. Discipline, not punishment, is important to healthy child behavior.

“Discipline is the structure that helps the child fit into the real world happily and effectively. It is the foundation for the development of the child’s own self-discipline. Effective and positive discipline is about teaching and guiding children, not just forcing them to obey.” According to the National Institution of Health

In the past, punishment and discipline where often used as interchangeable words. Just as it was then, we now know this is untrue. Generally, discipline is about teaching while punishment is about pain. “A person who has been punished is not thereby simply less inclined to behave in a given way; at best, he learns how to avoid punishment” B F Skinner

Using Logical and natural consequence are a very effective disciplinary methods. Teaching our children from a young age that when an individual makes a choice that there is a consequence is so important. Having good consequences is often directly associated with making good choices. When giving punishments/rewards it’s important to ask yourself:

  • Did I remain objective?

  • Did I spend enough time encouraging positive behavior, as well as trying to correct misbehavior?

  • Was I able to establish mutual respect?

  • Choices

  • Did I use age appropriate punishments/rewards?

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