Discipline vs. Punishment


Hope Reiman, Staff Writer

We’ve all grown up with some sort of punishment, and whether it helps us grow to become better or not, punishment has become a normal part of our society. Like many other things in society, punishment is a lot more complex than it may seem on the surface. It’s important to know that there’s a distinct difference between discipline and punishment. Discipline in simple terms is training someone/something to act so that they will turn out a certain way. Punishment on the other hand is inflicting suffering on someone who has retribution of past behavior. Punishment instills fear to change behavior, which can be very damaging. Before I go into how punishment works, I think we need to know why and how the concept of punishment came about. Punishment came to life to keep moral norms of society intact. The thought process was that punishing some who has directly hurt you will not only prevent the offender from doing it again, and possibly prevent future perpetrators from attempting it. According to Psychology Today, punishment also stems a lot from revenge. Revenge is one of the strongest human instincts, and we often use punishment to cope through anger. Knowing this, it’s easy to see why punishment isn’t the best for kids. In fact, many studies have shown that physical punishment isn’t effective and causes negative long-term effects for children. Kids are young and when they’re punished, they’re too confused by the pain. This causes them to grow up afraid, and often leads to them developing poor relationships and complex cognitive issues. It’s better to give children positive reinforcement and model correct behavior.