Discipline vs. Punishment
It can difficult to refrain from hitting your child when you are frustrated, but you must. Mama, there is a big difference when it comes to disciplining your child (as the Bible commands) and punishing them. You should be using discipline more than you use punishment.
Discipline—to teach the child self-control. Uses choices, limit-setting, natural and logical consequences, consistency and kindness to guide the child to behave more responsibly. Discipline is a process rather than a single act or statement in response to a behavior. The end result is a child who exhibits self-control and feels good about self and others. It’s an equal relationship using teaching, training and giving an example to follow.
Actions – Removal from activity, positive reinforcement, communication & negotiation, limit-setting, use of natural and logical consequences, etc.
Effects – Self-responsibility, cooperation, increased self-esteem, etc.
Punishment—to make the child behave. May be a quick-fix to a child’s misbehavior, but its negative effects on the child are far reaching, and more likely to result in more behavior problems. It’s an unequal relationship involving power and control.
Actions – Yelling, spanking, time out, consequences delivered inappropriately, etc.
Effects – Guilt, anger, yelling, rebellion, hate, resentment, revenge, etc.
You want to build your children up, not tear them down. If you struggle with this, that’s OK, join our support group where we discuss ways to discipline our children.