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Discipline can be defined in various ways but as parents, we define discipline as a way of teaching a child how to be self controlled, identify tolerable limits and act in accordance with the rules on the ground. If a child fails to recognize the limits, he/she is trying to ignore them. The more the child ignores the rules, the difficult it is for him to identify the boundaries set in future. This becomes even harder to change child behaviors after attaining teenage age.
Punishment may be defined as outcome of undesired behaviors. Punishment can be classified into two major sets; positive and negative punishment. Positive punishment involves giving something unwanted in response to the act. For example, a child may be given a task of cleaning the house. Negative punishment is where something that a person likes most is withdrawn from him/her (Graziano, 2008), for instance, a parent may prohibit a child to play a certain game.
There are four major styles that parents apply when bringing up a child, they include; authoritarian parenting, authoritative parenting, permissive parenting, and uninvolved parenting (Redekop, 2007). Among the four styles, there are those that correlate to discipline and other punishment.
Authoritarian parenting correlates to the punishment because parent establishes strict rules and direct the children to follow them. If a child fails to follow this, thorough punishment is accorded to him/her. Parents with this style usually fail to explain the reasons for setting those rules but tend to claim that it is because they said so. Those parents normally demand so much from their kid and are mostly irresponsible. They are status oriented and just need their orders to be followed without prior reasons.
Authoritative parenting operates along with discipline by the fact that the parents normally set rules and guidelines to be followed by their children. This style is not so strict and the parents tend to be responsible to their children. Parents with this style usually take time to answer children’s questions (Redekop, 2007). When the children fail to meet the guidelines, the parent may sometimes forgive the children rather than punishing them. They tend to impart the desired standards to these children and support them up to the end.
Dangers of Punishment to the Child
In long run punishment has negative effects in the life of kids. The more the child is punished the more they become violent to their siblings and other children. Other antisocial behavior also occurs such as high level of alcoholism, depression, and suicidal ideation later in life. Some parents who punish their children most likely abuse them physically.
These kids usually tend to commit crimes on other non-family members after growing up but those who are not spanked live peacefully. The children who grow under the heavily restricted conditions replicate this as revenge to the community and turn out to be criminals. Other harsh punishments have made the children to run away from their homes and subsequently become street children (Graziano, 2008).
Although punishment may affect the kid in future, parents have decided to continue punishing their children by believing that it is the only way to maintain discipline in a child. They think that unpunished children, becomes crooks in school and even drop from school. Other reasons are to mold their children conducts, enhancement of their public relations and to help them be responsible parent in future.
Parents should apply the necessary guidelines to maintain the discipline of their children. It is important for any parent to be responsible and time to time spare sometime to share basic knowledge with their children. They should show their children how to conduct themselves in various fields instead of dictating the rules, which are of no help.
Parent must also refrain from according harsh punishment, which might harm their children physically. Discipline is a basic requirement for any child but better methods of maintaining it should be practiced and by so doing parent-child relation will prevail all the time.
Graziano, A. (2008). Behavior Therapy with Children. Chicago: Transaction Publishers.
Redekop, P. (2007). Changing Paradigms: Punishment and Restorative Discipline. Winnipeg: Herald Press.