Difference Between Discipline and Punishment

Discipline and punishment are two methods used to improve the behavior of a person. Discipline is the practice that is taught to a person so that he/she can understand the right and wrong. Punishment is the method that is painful for the victim and the victim is subjected to punishment due to his/her previous activities.

Discipline vs Punishment

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

Discipline vs Punishment

A person is taught discipline right from his/her birth. It is a practice mostly taken by the elders to make the behavior 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 that is 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 his/her deeds. This is an age-old practice that is conducted to improve a person’s attitude toward something. Commonly, the elder ones punish their children so that they don’t repeat their mistakes.


Comparison Table Between Discipline and Punishment (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonDisciplinePunishment
ActDiscipline is the act of making a person understand the right method of approaching an activity.Punishment is a painful activity that is oppressed above the victim for the wrong deeds he/she has 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 the self-confidence of a person. They may feel guilty of the mistake and the pain is felt badly.
OutcomeDiscipline teaches a person to choose the right option, wisely the next time.Punishment mainly leads to suffering and the guilt of choosing the wrong.
ExampleDiscipline is taught from home and school at the basic level. Self-discipline is developed personally. Also, career discipline is taught at training centers.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 teaches a person the right behavior. There will be certain sets of rules that have to be followed while attempting an operation. The right behavior of acting according to the situation is taught. Discipline avoids harsh treatments for a mistake that is caused by unknowingly/knowingly.

For every action in the world, there is a set of protocols that are to be followed. These sets of rules are the discipline that is to be maintained while being in the operation. It contains the regulations that are to be understood carefully and to be followed. Discipline plays an important 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 taught later as discipline once studied at an early age, does not vanish. This is also important because while being in a social environment, a disciplined person is appreciated rather than an undisciplined one.

If any of the imposed rules are not followed by a person in a particular setting, disciplinary actions are taken against him/her. This brings us to the importance of behaving in public and understanding the situation. Often people are trained for maintaining discipline while an official gathering is planned.


What is Punishment?

Punishment is an imposed activity upon someone because of their past deeds which is normally painful. Punishment is a suffering that is given to the victim for their illegal/ unacceptable behavior. Punishments vary according to the crime 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 behavior by making him/her suffer for their mistakes. But normally, this is not a good practice that would work for changing the attitude towards something. A person cannot be changed by hurting him/her for their mistake. Only negative characteristics are developed by shaming them for their mistake.

Punishments can be physically or mentally. Some people are subjected to suffer a long period for the mistakes committed by them. This can be due to the density of the crime committed. Legal punishments are supported by the public and the democracy because of their need for removing inhuman behavior.

The wrongdoer can be frightened by the punishment that they have to face if they commit a crime. This is why many countries support harsh punishments. By implementing such punishments, the behavior 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 the process of improving the behavior of a person by making them understand the right behavior. Punishment is a painful process that taunts them of 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 the 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 right mannerism wisely. Punishment often makes a person unstable, both mentally and physically and hence the outcome will not be better.
  5. Discipline is a basic approach taught from home and school while punishments vary from spanks to death. The height of punishment differs for the different crimes.
Difference Between Discipline and Punishment



Discipline is a code of conduct that has to be taught at an early age for developing a well-behaved citizen. It improves the behavior and helps a person to adapt to different situations. Different manners are to be followed while being in different situations. According to this, the discipline that is to be maintained in such an atmosphere also changes.

Punishment is a harsh practice that is used to change the behavior of a person. When a person commits a mistake, the density of the mistake is analyzed and accordingly, punishments are given. This hurts the victim badly and hence there will not be much improvement in their behavior. Hence teaching discipline is considered better than punishing a person.


  1. https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1548-1360.2009.00026.x
  2. https://www.bmj.com/content/320/7230/261.short
AskAnyDifference HomeClick here
Search for "Ask Any Difference" on Google. Rate this post!
[Total: 0]