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Difference Between Discipline and Punishment

Discipline and punishment are two methods used to improve a person’s behaviour. Discipline is the practice taught to a person so that they can understand right and wrong. Punishment is a method that is painful for the victim, and the victim is subjected to the punishment due to their previous activities.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Discipline involves teaching and guiding children to develop self-control and appropriate behavior; punishment focuses on imposing negative consequences for undesired actions.
  2. Discipline aims to build long-term understanding and decision-making skills; punishment can be a short-term solution to address misbehavior.
  3. Effective discipline includes setting clear expectations, providing consistent consequences, and offering positive reinforcement; punishment may not always address the root cause of misbehavior and can sometimes lead to resentment or fear.

Discipline vs Punishment

The difference between Discipline and Punishment is that discipline is telling a person the proper method of approaching something and teaching them manners. On the other hand, punishment is the practice of hurting a person physically or mentally for their past activities.

Discipline vs Punishment

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A person is taught discipline right from birth. It is a practice taken mainly by the elders to make the behaviour of the younger ones right.

While teaching discipline, right and wrong are taught, and the right attitude is established within the person. This is a friendly method of developing a good personality.

Punishment is an act ordered by a person to another person due to the defects in their past activities. It is commonly a painful activity that has to be suffered by the victim for their deeds.

This age-old practice is conducted to improve a person’s attitude toward something. Commonly, the older ones punish their children, so they don’t repeat their mistakes.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonDisciplinePunishment
ActDiscipline is making a person understand the proper method of approaching an activity.Punishment is a painful activity that is oppressed the victim for the wrong deeds they have done.
FeelThis is a soft approach by the experienced one to a newcomer.This activity is harsh, and the victim has to suffer the pain caused by this.
BenefitDiscipline is beneficial as the new one can understand the after-effects of a mistake and can take care of not committing it.Punishment is not as good as discipline, as this deprives a person’s self-confidence. They may feel guilty about the mistake, and the pain is felt badly.
OutcomeDiscipline teaches a person to choose the correct option wisely the next time.Punishment mainly leads to suffering and the guilt of choosing the wrong.
ExampleDiscipline is taught at home and school at the primary level. Self-discipline is developed personally. Also, career discipline is taught at training centres.Punishment varies from beating to hanging. It differs according to the activity done by the victim.


What is Discipline?

Discipline is the way of teaching the right path for doing an activity. It introduces a person to the correct behaviour. There will be certain sets of rules that have to be followed while attempting an operation.

The proper behaviour of acting according to the situation is taught. Discipline avoids harsh treatment for a mistake that is caused unknowingly/knowingly.

Every action in the world has a set of protocols to be followed. These sets of rules are the discipline that is to be maintained while being in operation.

It contains regulations that must be carefully followed. Discipline plays a vital role in developing responsible citizens.

Children are taught discipline from the school level. The primary classes focus on implementing discipline more than education. Education can be introduced later as a field once studied early and does not vanish.

This is also important because while in a social environment, a disciplined person is appreciated rather than undisciplined.

If a person does not follow the imposed rules in a particular setting, disciplinary actions are taken against them. This brings us to the importance of behaving in public and understanding the situation.

Often people are trained to maintain discipline while an official gathering is planned.


What is Punishment?

Punishment is an imposed activity upon someone because of their past deeds, which is usually painful. Punishment is the suffering given to the victim for their illegal/ unacceptable behaviour.

Punishments vary according to the crime in that the victim is proven guilty. They can be informal and formal.

Punishment is the method that is commonly said to improve a person’s behaviour by making them suffer for their mistakes. But usually, this is not a good practice that would work for changing the attitude towards something.

A person cannot be changed by hurting them for their mistake. Only negative characteristics are developed by shaming them for their error.

Punishments can be physical or mental. Some people are subjected to suffering for an extended period for the mistakes committed by them.

This can be due to the density of the crime committed. The public and democracy support legal punishments because they need to remove inhuman behaviour.

The wrongdoer can be frightened by the punishment they face if they commit a crime. This is why many countries support harsh penalties.

By implementing such punishments, the behaviour of the public change automatically. Simultaneously a good set of citizens are being promised.


Main Differences Between Discipline and Punishment

  1. Discipline is a term used for improving a person’s behaviour by making them understand the correct behaviour. Punishment is a painful process that taunts them for their previous mistake.
  2. Discipline is a friendly method of changing a person’s attitude, while punishment is a harsh approach towards the victim.
  3. Since discipline is a friendly choice, the person can understand right and wrong and would not commit mistakes. As punishment taunts a person, they would feel angry, and their chances of improvement are less.
  4. Discipline makes sure that the person chooses the proper mannerism wisely. Punishment often makes a person mentally and physically unstable; hence, the outcome will not be better.
  5. Discipline is a fundamental approach taught at home and school, while punishments vary from spanking to death. The height of punishment differs for different crimes.
Difference Between Discipline and Punishment
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