Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Why is Discipline a Dirty Word?

In all parenting circles it seems discipline has become a dirty word. It is associated with spanking, time outs, and even beatings. This to me is sad.

Discipline according to the Merriam-Webster dictonary:
"Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin disciplina teaching, learning, from discipulus pupil"

Teaching, Learning. Not beating. Not spanking. Not time out.

If you look at the definitions in merriam webster's dictonary, and dictonary.com only one refers to punishment. Out of 6! Yet most people only know the one.
— n
1.training or conditions imposed for the improvement of physicalpowers, self-control, etc
2.systematic training in obedience to regulations and authority
3.the state of improved behaviour, etc, resulting from suchtraining or conditions
4.punishment or chastisement
5.a system of rules for behaviour, methods of practice, etc
6.a branch of learning or instruction
7.the laws governing members of a Church
8.a scourge of knotted cords

So if the point is to teach, or for a student to learn where has that gone? A punishment without instruction does NOT teach what a child did wrong. It simply says you made me angry now I will punish you.
And Discipline can be positive as well. Positive re-enforcement is still a form of discipline so long as you are teaching rather than just praising.

I ask you as parents and particularly my christian parent readers to remember. Discipline is not a dirty word and is SO important in our raising of our little ones. We NEED to be teaching, so they can learn.
Punishment without explanation and reminders of love is wrong and not teaching, but harmful. 


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