What does 'discipline' mean?

Jenni - posted on 08/21/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )




What do you think of when you hear the word 'discipline'?

What does it mean to you?

What are forms of discipline you use with your children?

I'm curious because it seems that when people refer to discipline a lot of times we are talking about apples and oranges. Or refering to fruit when we are specifically talking about bananas.

So let's debate the meaning of 'discipline'.


Krista - posted on 08/22/2011




I also view it as teaching -- teaching manners and good social skills, teaching right from wrong, teaching good decision-making skills, teaching empathy, teaching how to solve problems and deal with setbacks, teaching how to get along with other people, etc.

It's guiding our kids and teaching them how to become good people with integrity and empathy.

Jenni - posted on 08/22/2011




Maybe I have a new age interpretation of the word. But here's my personal definition.

Teaching proper, acceptable conduct in society.

Teaching right from wrong.

Guiding towards positive decision making.

Being a teacher and providing guidance.

Teaching that negative behaviours have negative consequences and positive behaviours reap positive results.

Providing children with the tools to make the best decisions, to act appropriately to react appropriately.

Encouraging strengths while improving weaknesses.

Giving my children the tools to be critical thinkers and use logic, compromise and heart to arrive at the best solution to any conflict.

Channelling negative behaviours into positive behaviours by teaching my children they get the best outcome by making the positive choice and poor outcomes from choosing a negative choice.

Building a strong relationship with my children based on trust, love and security.

Modelling good behaviours

Teaching how to appropriately deal with strong emotions like anger/frustration/sadness.

Teaching my children they need to work hard to earn opportunity.

Teaching cooperation and being a team player.

Teaching how to talk it out and conflict resolution.

Applying logical consequences to negative behaviours. But ensuring I equally praise their positive behaviours.

Kate CP - posted on 08/21/2011




From Merriam-Webster:


Definition of DISCIPLINE

transitive verb
1: to punish or penalize for the sake of enforcing obedience and perfecting moral character
2: to train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control
3a : to bring (a group) under control
3b : to impose order upon

From Wikipedia:
In its original sense, discipline is referred to systematic instruction given to a disciples to train them as students in a craft or trade, or to follow a particular code of conduct or "order". Often, the phrase "to discipline" carries a negative connotation. This is because enforcement of order – that is, ensuring instructions are carried out – is often regulated through punishment.
So, while a punishment or a consequence IS negative and will encourage an individual to modify their behavior; it does NOT, however, have to include PHYSICAL punishment. I have said it before and I'll say it again:

To spank a child is to hit them because they made a mistake.

Katherine - posted on 08/21/2011




To disciple, to teach. To teach right from wrong WITHOUT smacking, hitting, popping, spanking etc.....
Good topic. There has been much confusion IMO.


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Krista - posted on 08/22/2011




And it varies so much from age to age. My son is only two, so he's not going to understand a long-winded explanation about why you don't throw toys. So right now, if he throws one of his toys, I just say, "Sam - no throw toys! Sam throws toy, toy goes bye-bye!" (I know, I use toddler-speak -- what can I say, I'm a big Harvey Karp fan..)

Of course, when he gets a bit older, I can explain, "If you throw your toy, it might break and you won't be able to play with it anymore." So my goal is to teach him not just to not throw his toys, but WHY he shouldn't throw them -- that is what teaches good judgment, because he'll start to understand the natural effects of his actions.

As an adult, if I'm not careful with one of my possessions, I don't get hit or punished for it. If I'm not careful, then the item gets ruined and I can't use it anymore.

So why not just start kids on that from the get-go, instead of having them make the transition from "punishment" to "consequences" at a time in their life when they're leaving the house and are already dealing with transitions?

Jenni - posted on 08/21/2011




Thanks Katherine, I actually got the idea from some confusion over a Dr. Sears article.

The article was referring to breastfeeding as a form of discipline and posters thought he was suggesting to use breastfeeding as a punishment. :S

I'm not even sure how that would work. *scratches head*

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