Good behavior is a learning process for children, and we are their roadmap. Children usually behave per their own emotions and impulses. At the same time, being a parent is also a learning process and sometimes we rely on our own emotions and impulses to teach. Usually, that means we divert directly to punishments when a child misbehaves, missing a crucial opportunity to teach them. With that said, I am going to break down how to teach good behavior through discipline vs. punishment.
Let’s compare the two words and what they really mean:
· Punishment – means to infli
ct pain or suffering as a penalty.
· Discipline – means to teach.
It’s understandable that we as parents can get very frustrated when a child misbehaves, specifically when they make the same poor behavior choices over and over. At the same time, if we have clear goals to teach good behavior skills, t
hen we can respond better. The better we respond, the better the results.
What are our goals for our children when they misbehave?
· Our first goal is to get them to cooperate. This is primarily short-term.
· The second goal that we don’t always consider is more long-term, and that is to make better choices without the threat of punishment or consequences.
· To accomplish this, we need to consider both as often as possible. To accomplish this requires that you are patient, present, and intentional.
Now, let’s look at how punishment and discipline compare when accomplishing our goal of developing good behavior skills…
Punishment vs. Discipline:
· Punishment may shut down a behavior, but if you teach y
our child, then they will develop self-discipline skills such as managing emotions and impulses.
· When you discipline, you maintain a high relationship of trust and self-confidence.
· When you punish, you build a proverbial wall and decrease one’s trust self-confidence.
With that said, it makes sense to have a strategy for disciplining a child when they misbehave…