- Christian Family Services
Giving Discipline to Discipline
Discipline is a hot-button topic in parenting. Everyone, whether they have children or not, has an opinion on what discipline should look like. The word “discipline” comes from the Latin word “discipulus” which means to teach or to guide. Contrary to popular usage, “discipline” does not mean “punishment.” Discipline is better explained as the morals, values, standards, and guidelines for appropriate and acceptable behavior.
The word “discipline” comes from the Latin word “discipulus” which means to teach or to guide.
Spanking is a common form of punishment. In recent years, more and more research has emerged to show that spanking is ineffective at best and harmful at worst. Research shows spanking impacts children negatively, increasing their risk of depression, anxiety, aggression, and other social-emotional issues. In Christianity, parents often reference Proverbs 13:24, “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” This verse needs to be considered in the context of a shepherd guiding their sheep. The rod in question is used to gently guide the sheep and to fight off predators, not to beat the sheep.
With the amount of research against spanking, it makes sense to look towards other disciplinary strategies. Behavior management strategies include baby-proofing and redirection. It prevents kids from making the wrong decision and putting themselves in harm’s way. Behavior modification shapes a child’s behavior by utilizing rewards and discouraging behaviors that are unacceptable.
Behavioral interventions should be IDEAL:
I – Immediate
D – Direct
E – Efficient
A – Action-based
L – Leveled at behavior
Check out this video for more information on the IDEAL response:
Information adapted from the Nurturing Parenting programs