As a Parent is is important that we understand the difference between DISCIPLINE and PUNISHMENT. Disciplineis teaching one to know and understand how to assume responsibility for one's actions and be accountable for the outcome. The more formal definition suggest: "the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior". Punishment is a form of control through psychological and/or physical manipulation of others with little or no regard for long-term resentment. The more formal definition is: "the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense".
Historically Parenting has used punishment and/or the threat of punishment in getting children to obey orders that were directed toward children. Many of us were under this archaic method of human intervention, with the intent to raise a "good" child. Oftentimes we would do as thrashed upon us to avoid getting a beating or spanking from our Parents. We were not allowed to curse out loud but we certainly did so in our thoughts when we saw our Parents coming. This style of Parenting has been defined as Autocratic or extremely controlling. I also push many youths to seek support from places outside of the home or from someone other than the Parent that was routinely using this form of teaching. The proliferation of gangs and subcultures are products of youth seeking a supportive network outside of the home that understands their position in life or faced the same aggressiveness at home.
Discipline should be a learning and teaching experience NOT a punitive or manipulation experience. If we use the excuse that the only way you know is the way you were treated or raised as a child, your argument no longer holds any water because there is too much information available to provide insights on the various ways to properly teach your children. The barbaric notion that physical or psychological discipline is what is best is rapidly becoming illegal in many corners of the civilized world.
By employing growth techniques when correcting or disciplining will help keep your child closer to home versus going to peers or others outside of your home to find a more kind and gentle person to direct them. When your child comes home and they have that look in their eyes and you notice their behavior has changed, where they respond to you, the Parent, with an attitude of indifference, know that your primitive behavior created this disconnection. The disconnection is a confirmation of outside voices having greater influence in shaping the values and developing the character of your child.
Think about the situation and how you are going to address it with your child in a learning manner versus a hostile approach. For example say to your child: "How do you believe your room should be cleaned by the end of the day?" or "If you were me, the Parent, how would you help get that science project done on time and be the best in the class?"
It's engaging and putting your child in a position to think more in-depth about problem-solving. The real learning is not the task but asks themselves for a solution, which becomes a behavioral process they can employ in most situations. Then we can see a learned behavior for life. You might learn something too.
DISCIPLINE AND PUNISHMENT
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