When parents use discipline strategies, they are focusing on a lifelong influential relationship with their children. When they use punishment, their focus is more on temporary control.
Adults’ Goals and Attitudes When Using Discipline
Discipline: To Create Cooperation with Children Through Leading and Influence.
- Embrace an ally perspective.
- See the situation as a “teachable” moment.
- Understand that children will make mistakes as they learn.
- Adults and children find solutions together based on meeting needs rather than moralistic judgments
- Let the child know the impact of their behavior on others.
- Focus on building mutual respect and trust.
- Set nonnegotiable rules and have flexible negotiable rules.
- Teach children how to solve problems.
- Encourage expression of thoughts and emotions.
Adult’s expression of discipline: “Let’s discuss the problem and find solutions together to see if everyone’s needs can be met.”
Adults’ Goals and Attitudes When Using Punishment
Punishment: To Gain Control Over Children Through Using Power and Intimidation.
- Develop an adversary perspective.
- Adults often impose a punitive consequence.
- Children are judged as good/bad and need to suffer in order to learn to behave.
- The belief that children learn from suffering.
- Use of punishment tactics include: taking valued things away, shaming, blaming, yelling, threats, rewards and bribes.
- Rules are set without child’s input.
- Child’s needs are usually second to the adults.
- Obedience is desired. Child’s opinions are often ignored.
- Emotions are ignored or discounted. Child doubts self as a result
Adult’s expression of punishment. “What you are doing is wrong. I demand that you do what I say. My needs are more important than yours!”
How often are you using punishment? How often are you using discipline?
Cynthia Klein has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with dads, moms and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, webinars, and private parent coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the magazine Parenting on the Peninsula. Contact Cynthia at bridges 2 understanding, bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com or call 650. 341.0779.