Children Discipline and Physical Punishment

Essay by alanvaleUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2007

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One of the major problems many parents have to face while rearing their children is the method of discipline they can use to teach the children how to behave. Since most parents today were disciplined with physical punishment when they were children, it is the common belief that that is the method that should be used.

This paper will present the definition of the word discipline, discipline and physical punishment, the negative effects of physical punishment and some alternatives to physical discipline when disciplining the children.

What is Discipline?First of all, it is important to define the word discipline, so that we can understand its relationship with any method of discipline, especially physical punishment.

Usually discipline is thought of in very negative concepts. In fact, many people cannot hear the word "discipline" without hearing something negative, so sometimes it is better to use the words "training" or "correction."The root word of discipline is disciple (a student, a learner).When

you discipline your children, you are making disciples. Discipline is defined as training that develops self-control (Guernsey, 1984).

Discipline and Physical PunishmentMost people, when they hear the word "discipline" the first thing that comes to their mind is "punishment". But there is a big difference between discipline and physical punishment.

What's the difference? As stated earlier, the root word of discipline is disciple and means learner. In contrast, punishment implies getting even, retaliation, vengeance, and exacting a penalty.

The difference between punishment and discipline is clearly seen in their purpose, focus, attitude, and resulting emotion.

PunishmentDisciplinePurposeTo inflict penalty for an offenseTo correct and promoteTo pay back for wrongspositive growthFocusPast misdeedsFuture behaviorAttitudeAngerLoveResultingFear, guilt, hostilitySecurityemotionThe Negative Effects of Physical Punishment in DisciplineIn a large-scale meta-analysis of 88 studies, psychologist Elizabeth Thompson Gershoff, PhD, of the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University,