As Gentle Discipline is intrinsically melded with Attachment Parenting in my mind it is going to show up in some of my posts like this one.
Since 16 I've been thinking about the difference between punishments and discipline.
Lets start with the dictionary definitions.
dis•ci•pline n. 1. Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, esp. training that produces moral or mental improvement. 2. Controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training; self-control.
pun•ish n. 1a. To subject to a penalty for an offense, sin, or fault. 2. To inflict a penalty for (an offense). 3. To handle roughly; hurt: [I]The heavy surf punished the small boat.[/I] - intr. To exact or mete out punishment.
How I explained it to a friend who insisted that they were interchangeable is this; discipline is to teach through example and continual instruction a concept like manners, communication, and hygiene.
Punishment is little more then retribution for being an inconvenient and frustrating child.
We punish criminals for breaking the law.
We discipline and teach children who don't know better and/or mentally aren't developed enough to keep control over their actions due to overwhelming emotions.
Punishment teaches the child if your bigger and/or have the power you can pretty much do what you want.
Discipline teaches that all actions have consequences, only commit the act if your willing to shoulder the consequence. It teaches the truth behind the rules, laws, and social customs, not just 'because I said so'.
Get Off Your Butt Parenting = Great blog.