Difference Between Discipline & Punishment

Discipline vs Punishment

Discipline and Punishment may seem similar, but there are differences between the two concepts. Much of human behavior in modern societies is a result of discipline and punishment. Imagine an intersection or traffic light where people can move in any direction without any fear of punishment. Soon, all vehicles will try to go wherever their drivers want to take them, resulting in chaos and accidents. Even in a classroom, kids are disciplined as long as their teacher is present, and you can quickly see an unruly class after the teacher has left the room. If you do not punish your dog for barking at your friends, he will never learn how to behave. And if you do not show discipline and throw clothes around, soon your room will become unmanageable for you. It is evident that discipline and punishment are closely related terms, though not interchangeable. This article will highlight the differences between discipline and punishment to help understand their correct use in real-life situations.

What is Discipline?

Punishment is used as a tool to teach discipline for a dog, a kid, or an adult. However, positive reinforcement or the lack of it can also be used to teach discipline, and it is not necessary to use punishment all the time to teach an important lesson. You can give your puppy his favorite food item when he is getting his toilet training when he urinates at the designated place, but withhold this prize if he urinates at an improper place. Soon he will realize his mistake and follow the right behavior. Discipline teaches children self-control, and they also learn skills that match their age group and mental level. However, punishment only means hurting the child to make him learn the fear of punishment. In the case of discipline, an adult is controlling the actions of another adult or children while respecting the needs, wishes, and abilities of others. Discipline makes people feel good about themselves as they learn to control themselves and also learn new skills on their own. Though the motive behind punishment is to make others learn or unlearn, punishment only works as long as there is fear in the minds of students or kids.

What is Punishment?

Punishment means using force, mostly physical, or even reprimand or admonishment to disapprove of an individual’s actions in anticipation that he will refrain from his act because of fear of punishment. In any society, rules and regulations are made so that people observe them, and there is order all the time. To make people follow the laws, there are provisions for punishment in the form of financial penalties and prison sentences. These are meant to deter individuals from indulging in behaviors that are against the norms and thus, not acceptable to society. Despite these punishments, there have been and will always be people flouting these norms, which clearly shows that punishment alone is not the solution when one wants others to behave in a particular manner. Encouragement and even rewards are sometimes required to make an individual learn. When a teacher pats a child’s back in front of the class, he or she is obviously elated at being applauded in front of other students and tries to do what pleases the teacher. When parents are away for a long time from the home, and if kids have behaved admirably in their absence, they must reward kids for their good behavior.

Key Takeaways

  • Punishment is a part of the process called discipline and is used as a tool to teach discipline.
  • Punishment only tells others what is bad and should be avoided, while positive reinforcement encourages people to engage in acceptable behaviors.
  • Sometimes punishment is the only form of deterrence, but encouragement and rewards are often necessary to make an individual learn.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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