How to Discipline a Child without Punishment? 14 Useful Ways to Follow to Discipline a Child.

Discipline a child without Punishment.

Discipline a Child without Punishment

To Discipline a Child is the most challenging task for every parents throughout the glove- ” to be a parent is to be chief designer of a product more advanced than any technology and more interesting than the greatest work of art. ” Alain de Botton. But we, the parents, often shout or yell or give physical punishments to our children for their silly mistakes or to make them disciplined. We forget that to teach discipline to a child we are actually giving punishment to him which have serious negative impact on mental health and well-being of children.

So, the parents should not yell or give punishments to children but obviously try to make them disciplined as discipline is essential for the proper growth and development of children. “Discipline is the Bridge between Goals and Accomplishments.” Jim Rohn. But punishment should be strictly prohibited to discipline a child as” Discipline is Helping a Child to solve a Problem. Punishment is making a Child suffer for having a Problem. LR Knost

What do you mean by discipline a Child?

Discipline a child means helping the child to behave properly and also regulate his\her behaviors and emotions, to make the child responsible for his\her actions and teach them the lessons of self-control. It is the way of helping the child in learning the life-skills and providing guidance to them to explore the world. The word “Discipline” comes from the word ” Disciple” which means a follower in religious and philosophical context and the disciple comes from the Latin word “Discipulus” which means the pupil. Again other evidences proved that the word Discipline comes from the Latin word “Disciplina” which means ” instruction given, teaching, learning, knowledge” etc.

So, to discipline a child means systematic instructions given to children to manage their behaviors, feelings and life-styles so that they can reach their full potential. But it is never associated with punishment as ” Too often ,we forget that discipline really means to teach, not to punish. A disciple is a student, not a recipient of behavioral consequences.” Daniel J. Siegel

Punishment Vs Discipline

Punishment is the Rough Treatment given to a child- it is about controlling a child, rather than teaching the child how to control himself/ herself. It comes from not meeting the expectations of parents or from parent’s frustration. It’s about making a child pay for his mistakes and it focuses on making a child suffer for breaking the rules. But discipline is about teaching the child how to make a better choice next time. Authoritarian parents are most likely to punish kids and thus cause severe behavior problems to children. Corporal punishment like spanking, slapping, pinching, pulling, hitting with an objects etc. always leads to negative outcomes like increasing the aggressive behavior, violence, tendency to break the rules etc.

So, punishment should be strictly prohibited and strategies to making them disciplined should be adopted as discipline a child is teaching them to control themselves and learning from their mistakes. Many countries all over the glove have banned any type of corporal punishment including spanking in schools and colleges. In India, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 prohibits any kind of ‘ physical punishment ‘ and ‘mental harassment’ in educational institutions under 17(1) and makes it a punishable offence under section 17(2). But, in home till now many parents prefer punishment to discipline a child and thus severely affect the mental health and well-being of that child as punishment only develops the fear- the resentment towards parents and destroy the relationship between them.

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Corporal punishment should be avoided to discipline a child.
Corporal punishment should be avoided to discipline a child.

The Ways to Discipline a Child Without Punishment

Yes, it is possible to discipline a child without scolding, hitting or spanking but giving him\her a chance to rectify the mistakes by explaining the consequences of bad or rough behaviors. Here are some practical ways are shared to discipline your child without giving punishment-

Always Talk with your Children

It is very important to talk with your children- spend time with them- communicate with them, good communication between parents and children always make a strong bond between them and this type of relationship always helps to discipline a child easily as you can explain to your children about the different rules of life and their importance. Your children also can freely ask you about any things and may also do enquiry about the consequences of not being disciplined. ” Your Kids require you most of all to Love them for who they are, not to spend your whole time to correct them.” Bill Ayers

Listen to Your Children

Not only talk to your children or tell stories to them but also Listen to your Children always. Through active listening to children , the parents can only know about their problems and difficulties, their likes and dislikes, their issues and can suggest them the ways to resolve their issues. So ,listening to child is very important to discipline a child. They may listen to you or may not but you should always focus on them and listen to them carefully so that you can easily make them disciplined based on their attitude, preferences and mindset. “Don’t Worry that Children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” Robert Fulghum

Set Clear Expectations

In the article published by UNICEF on how to discipline a child, the Lucie Cluver, the professor of Oxford University, says that ” Telling your child exactly what you want them to do is much more effective than telling them what not to do”. When we tell a child not to shout or not to do a mess or behave like a good child, he\she cannot understand that what they should do or do not. So, it is very important to set clear cut expectations to discipline a child, but the expectations must be realistic for the children. Setting clear expectations, for example, “Please arrange your study-table everyday” or ” Take a glass of water every morning” etc. are very beneficial.

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Use the Consequences in a Healthy Way

Consequences in a logical way can be used to discipline a child as these help the kids to understand their behavioral problems and to rectify those behaviors. For example, if your child everyday takes a lot of food and discard food in breakfast table, then some days just give him less food than he needs. Or if the child beat other children during playing with them, don’t allow him\her to play with them for one or two days. Thus, linking the consequences directly with the problematic behavior of the children can make them disciplined.

Logical Consequences can be helpful to discipline a child.
Logical Consequences can be helpful to Discipline a Child.

Use “Praise ” to Discipline a Child

Praising the children for their good behaviors is the most useful ways to discipline a child- the parents, teachers should always praise the children for their good behaviors and this praise and attention reinforces the good behaviors in children and make them to follow rules and regulations in life. For example, if a child is playing nicely with her friends- we should praise her saying that you are a good girl, how nicely you are sharing and playing with your friends. If a child take his food by himself and don’t waste it -we should also give our praise and attention to him and thus cam make him disciplined to take food properly.

Involve your Child to Make a Timetable or Daily Routine

To involve a child to take decisions of his\her own life is one of the greatest way to discipline a child- both the parents and the children can sit together and discuss to frame the daily routine of the children and in that routine there must be space for every activities like study, play, art or music etc. Here the involvement of children will surely make them self-disciplined to follow the timetable. ‘ I think of Discipline as the Continual Everyday Process of Helping a Child Learn Self- Discipline.’ Fred Rogers

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Set an Example Before Them

To discipline a child we should put example before them to follow- we should be a Role Model for them so that they can make them disciplined easily. For example, if you want to switch off T.V or mobile during the lunch or dinner time of your children, then you should also follow the same rule. The children are continuously following the adults especially the parents, that’s why the parents should also follow all the rules and regulations that they want to internalize among their children. ” Your Children will become what you are : so be what you want them to be.” David Bly

Set Limits or Boundaries

To discipline a child it is very important to put some limits or boundaries but set the limits in the empathetic way so that the children don’t get hurt mentally or physically. The parents should always acknowledge the perspective of children to put boundary against them so that they follow the discipline in their life. When the children feel that they are valued and understood, they are ready to follow the disciplines and also able to accept the limits. For example, you may allow your children to watch the cartoon shows in T.V but you should allow them only for a fixed time like 40 min or one hour only. Thus, setting limits really helps children to be disciplined.

Set a good example before the children  to discipline a child
Setting a good example before the children is helpful to disciple a child.

Ignore the Mild Misbehavior

It is very normal for the children to commit mistakes, doing messes, quarrelling with siblings or friends or just moving here and there. So, don’t consider all the behavior of the children seriously- sometimes try to ignore the mild misbehavior of them. Moreover, sometimes the children behave in the inappropriate way only to get attention of the parents or other elders. Then you try to figure out their attention seeking behavior and pretend to ignore those behaviors. The child also then try to behave in the proper way and you should then respond to his nice behavior. Thus, ignoring the mild misbehavior of children is one effective way to discipline a child.

Distract Them to Any Creative Work

When you will see that your child is too much engaging in doing messes or showing temper tantrums or fighting with others, then you should try to distract his\her attention to any creative activities so that you can calm down him\her. It is a nice way of discipline a child without punishment as here you are diverting the child’s energy in a positive way and later you can talk to him\her about the consequences.” When a child can’t calm down they need connection and comfort, not criticism and control.” Jane Evans

Use the ‘Time-Out’ Approach

The ‘Time-Out’ approach is a good way to discipline a child if it can be done correctly as it can reduce the negative behaviors effectively. It is a technique of discipline that involves removing the child from an activity or place for some minutes or more for doing some misbehaviors. For example, if your child is not keeping his toys in its place every day after asking him to do that , then you can use the Time- Out approach- here you can say him that ” since you are not keeping your toys in its place, you will not get the toys to play ” and you can follow this approach for an hour or more depending upon the child.

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Sometimes Offer Choices

It is also beneficial to discipline a child if you offer choices to them, for example, you can tell him\her that to choose today’s menu which must be healthy. Here you can help your child to choose the healthy food and thus also make him\her to disciplined to take healthy food. Actually, offering choices to children for some tasks provide them the feeling of worthy and teach them the decision-making skills. It also reduces the battle of power between parents and children and very helpful to reduce aggressive behavior like tantrums, arguing, yelling etc.

Always Rewards for Good Behavior

To reinforce the good behaviors in children and to motivate them to behave properly, you can set up a reward system but try to avoid the materialistic things as reward. For example, your 5-years old boy try to help you to arrange the dining table or your little girl don’t fight with her siblings, then you can provide extra play-time to them or you can take a walk with your child in the nearby park as the reward for their good behavior. Rewards for good behavior help the children to focus to behave properly to earn privileges and thus they become disciplined.

Try to Regulate your Own Emotions

It is proved by different survey works that we prefer to punish our children when we are not well emotionally or mentally stressed. You can feel that easily if you are in stress, you are angry on your child for his silly mistake and punish him. So, you should first try to take care of yourself, regulate you emotions so that you can easily discipline your child without punishment. The parents are the first Role Model of their children, so they parents should behave properly to get the good behavior from the children.

When a child hits a child, we call it aggression. When a child hits an adult, we call it hostility. When an adult hits an adult, we call it an assault. When an adult hits a child, we call it Discipline. ” Haim G. Ginott

Message from Wingsofwishes

Punishment can never be the way of making children disciplined as it only creates fear in the mind of the children and this fear also vanishes after a few days making the children aggressive and undisciplined. So, we should always avoid any kind of punishment to discipline a child and when they make mistakes, we can help them to figure out what was wrong in their behavior and choices and guide them to behave properly and to learn self-discipline. Yes, we need a lot of patience and willpower to discipline our children without punishment but it also makes a strong bond between the parents and children but the punishment only create distance in the relationship of parents and children.

Hitting a child doesn’t teach them that the stove or the road or the outlet isn’t the Safe. It teaches them that the person hitting them isn’t safe.” If you hit them in anger or by mistake, later you should apologize to them.


1.How to discipline your child the smart and healthy way | UNICEF Parenting

2.8 Alternative Discipline Strategies to Spanking (

3. The better way to discipline children – Harvard Health

4. how to discipline bad kids – Search (

5.Change your child’s behavior — without punishment! (

6. Child discipline – Wikipedia

7.What’s the Best Way to Discipline My Child? –

8. Child Discipline Methods: Permissive, Authoritative, and More (

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