Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Discipline versus Punishment

We were challenged to think about the difference between discipline and punishment.  To me it seemed a matter of semantics, "You say tomato...." If however the word punishment is so loaded that we can only think negatives, then perhaps it is only right that we consider discipline as the word of choice.

My post from last Wednesday, Feb 22, raised a few questions in the comments section.  Was I saying there was no place for rewards? Am I promoting negative parenting? Is the issue here over clarifying the terms reward and reinforcement? Great questions and they deserve some kind of answer.

First off, I suppose I have to be careful to not come across as the source of all truth when it comes to parenting.  We've been trying to get this right for thousands of years and we haven't done it yet.

Secondly, what I was trying to say last week and apparently didn't really clarify was that we have to be careful to not raise children who do right when rewarded and therefore lose sight of why something is right and wrong, they lose sight of doing good for goodness' sake. All our children are different. What I hope we can work toward is children who learn to appreciate goodness and being good.

Thirdly, as far as training goes, one interesting thing I've heard and applied at times is to have your child model the behavior you want them to have. If they say something impolite, have them repeat it correctly. If they are rude to someone, have them try again speaking the way they should. If they complete homework in an manner below their ability, have them redo it. It should give pause when time is of the essence, it sure would work for me! A few thoughts open for your comments.

Also, still lots of time left to enter the book giveaway.  Please see the last two posts for more details.

And, if you haven't signed up for A-Z Challenge, do it now!  Its a great disciplining time for bloggers and a great time to get to meet new people, add new followers, learn new things.  Its a win - win.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No kids.
However, I am stoked for the A to Z Challenge!

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Oh lord... I have kids and I have no idea.

J. Burroughs said...

Ron, Thank you for your clarifications in this post and in the comments of the previous post. I give you three cheers for the comment, "I suppose I have to be careful to not come across as the source of all truth when it comes to parenting." That is so true for all of us. Not only is no single one of us the source of all truth for parenting, but also no child is exactly the same, so parenting will not always look the same, child to child. Parenting is definitely not a "one size fits all" task. Best of luck to you in your parenting endeavors, and I look forward to what you have to post during the A to Z challenge!

Jenny Woolf said...

Mm, don't think discipline should be a punishment. It's something that we need to teach to come from within.

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