Is It Discipline?

Is It Discipline?

Quite often parents confuse punishment with discipline.  There is, however, a very basic difference between the two.  Punishment tends to be most concerned with teaching a child what "not to do;"  discipline focuses on helping a child learn what "to do" instead.  Before you respond to a child's misbehavior, think about your own behavior first:

Will it enhance or protect the child's self-esteem?

Will it support the child in developing a positive, healthy life attitude?

Will it be appropriate for the child's age and stage of development?

Will it be effective in accomplishing the needed change of behavior?

Will it help the child to know what to do instead?

Will your voice and manner show respect for both you and the child?

If a parent can answer yes to these six question, they are disciplining their children and empowering them with the knowledge of what "to do."  This builds children's capacity and confidence for problem-solving and decision-making.  Ultimately, the relationship between parent and child is enhanced and children learn to treat themselves and others with respect.

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