The difference between discipline and punishment
For too many adults, the idea of discipline runs side-by-side with punishment – particularly the physical kind - when they are, in fact, two very different animals. All children need discipline and boundaries as they learn to live within our society. . They need gentle guidance to feel secure as they learn what is right and wrong. The best forms of discipline will ideally lead to your child learning self-discipline.
- There are many different ways of disciplining a child, but the best ones all use teaching and learning at their core.
- When you use discipline, you should focus on teaching your child the positive behaviour you want to encourage, and setting limits around the behaviour you want to discourage.
- There is no point to disciplining you child if she’s too young to understand the concept, or the behaviour we want to instil in her.
- You should model self-discipline to your child so she can follow your example.
- As your child matures, you should set fewer limits so that she can learn to make the right choices for herself.
- For discipline to work, there must be a clear understanding of the rules of the house, as well as a clear understanding of the consequences should those rules be broken.
- Discipline should be used to encourage your child to be responsible and to make well considered choices.
The big trick for parents is to strike the right balance – just how do you teach discipline without resorting to the threat of the (proverbial) whip?
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