The idea of punishment implies repaying someone with what he or she deserves when they do not act favorably. Discipline, on the other hand, is future-focused, always geared towards future acts.
When infusing this into the ethics of parenting, it has to be done carefully, even though children tend to be a bit mischievous. If the emotion of a parent gets in the way of correction, they may inevitably mix up the purpose of the correction and tilt towards retribution rather than redemption. With effective discipline a child can learn self-control, confidence, and responsibility. Punishment may be physical e.g spanking, hitting, or causing pain. However, punishment focuses on past actions of a child and offers little or nothing to help a child behave better in the future.
Discipline has to be carried out with utmost care to ensure that child is well developed emotionally and physically.
Here are some major differences between punishment and discipline:
|· It is controlling and might not be appropriate for children. They do not commit crimes, they make mistakes.||· It is used to teach and guide|
|· It teaches the child to avoid being caught, not that the behavior is wrong||· It teaches a child that a particular action is bad, prompting the child to learn internal control|
|· It causes a child to develop and focus anger on the child inflicting the punishment, forgetting that he or she has to be responsible for that action||· It teaches, shows and guides a child to be more responsible.|
|· It validates fear, pain and intimidation. It might even result in physical, emotional and spiritual damage in the child.||· It helps the child accept and realize that there is a proper route and system of communication with the adult.|
|· It does not give a child the means to right the wrong that has been done. Even if an apology is offered, it will have little or no effect on teaching the child the value of right and wrong.||· It helps the child value the importance of an apology also helping the child to find ways to try and salvage the harm that has been done|
|· It inflicts penalty for an offense||· It trains for correction and maturity|
|· It shows the child the frustration and sometimes hostility of the parent, which is not healthy for the child.||· It shows the child the love, care and concern of the parent.|
This is not to say that children do not deserve to be punished, even the bible says clearly “spare the rod and spoil the child”. A healthy balance needs to be struck as said before.