Discipline vs Abuse
The words discipline and abuse are in the limelight and a hot topic of debates all over the country with an increase in the incidences of arrests of parents for child abuse. Parents, when they are trying to discipline their kids, often cross the thin dividing line between discipline and abuse and start abusing them. These incidents take place across all sections of the society raising concerns among the authorities and law makers. This article attempts to find differences between these two behaviors to help readers understand the root cause of the problem.
All parents desire to have kids who are disciplined and obedient. While most parents believe in praising and encouragement, often it becomes necessary to punish a child to bring about desired changes in his behavior. Discipline has always been, and remains one of the main ingredients of parenting. All that parents want is to make their kids understand and appreciate the importance and significance of some of the universal values such as honesty, compassion, love, integrity etc. Parents want their kids to be caring and sharing so that they grow up to become ideal citizens. However, parents need understanding that punishing their kids in order to make them well behaved and full of respect for them is different from trying to discipline them.
Abuse or child abuse refers to acts of punishments that bring physical and emotional harm to the kids. These acts often result from anger and frustration of the parents. Most parents who harm their kids physically or psychologically believe that the punishment they are meting out to their children is only for disciplining them. Child abuse is a crime punishable by law, and it includes all behaviors of parents that can bring physical or emotional harm to the kids and hamper with their development. Abuse is not just inflicting physical harm to the children as it also includes emotional abuse, neglect, and even sexual abuse that can scar the psyche of a child forever.
What is the difference between Discipline and Abuse?
• Abuse is a result of anger and hostility while love and affection make a parent choose discipline.
• Abuse makes a child fearful whereas discipline makes a child listen.
• Discipline makes a child understand the values parent intend him to learn while abuse makes a child learn that this is the only way to strike terror.
• Mutual respect is at the root of discipline while abuse signifies power in the hands of the caregiver.
• Abuse makes a child feel humiliated whereas discipline makes him see reason.
• Discipline leads to independence whereas abuse makes a child meek and submissive.
• Abuse can lead to dangerous results for children whereas discipline is a healthy way to make kids learn.