Moms Ask, “When Did Discipline Become A Bad Word?”

Those, like our parents and aunts and uncles, who raised kids over the past couple of decades or so, are sad to see what a “bum rap” the word discipline is getting these days. They think back nostalgically to people complimenting them because their children “had discipline”. I looked at the dictionary definition for this much maligned word, and it is still the same…:

Discipline (dis e-plin) noun: Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, esp. training that produces moral or mental improvement.

But what has changed? When did discipline become a bad word? There is certainly nothing in the definition of discipline that suggests abusive treatment, spanking, shaming, yelling, screaming or generally losing one’s marbles.

So why are we afraid of disciplining our children? And why do we resort to bribing them instead…?

Don’t children need and want to be reigned-in? Isn’t it a loving parent who sets limits on inappropriate behavior? Don’t children become anxious when they are allowed to lose control, to hit, to scream, to throw the items out of the grocery basket, to act out in school? Is it shaming a child to point out and correct bad behavior? No! But it is a shame when our children approach adulthood without the necessary tools to be a welcome and productive member of society. It is a shame when our children don’t have the skills needed to function appropriately in social settings, in school, and out in public. When parents establish behavioral standards, make their expectations clear, and respond consistently when standards are violated, they are introducing the basic tenets of a civilized culture. Our children deserve no less.

Moms on Edge believes in starting early to shape our children. We support a loving, gentle, supportive, non-aggressive and calm approach to parenting.

So, discipline your kids, they will thank you for it…and so will their kids. And most important, love your kids up one side and down the other!

What is your hit about discipline? Please share!


Elena and Cari,