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,



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

  1. Joseph Dad Says:

    This is a great post. We really need to get back to basics and emphasize discipline again. Too many parents seem to be afraid to set standards. It takes some time and attention, and sometimes some hard decisions, but we need to raise responsible kids from the start!

    I’m a project manager and have found that projects go off track inch by inch. If you don’t do anything about it, soon your project is so far off track that it is lost. I think raising good kids works the same way.

    I look forward to more blog posts from you.

  2. Ginger Cookies Says:

    Yes! But it is not easy.

    Sometimes I want to cry when my kids don’t listen to me. But I know that my job is to be a good parent, not a good friend.

    BTW, your products are adorable.

  3. maggie Says:

    i have a 3 year old and boy does she test limits, we found using small rugs child size ones is good for making time out spots, it sometimes works, most of the time that is but occasionally it depends if she is wired tired or whatever on how she acts she gets in one of those 3 year old moods and nothing works, she wants everything and if she dont get it she throws major fits and when she is home with me she gives me hard times but at day care shes fine, i just wanna say the comments and tips on heren really do help thank

  4. Shelley E Says:


    The key is consistency. Don’t give up, you get what you tolerate!

    Time Out Spots are great. I bought one, and it is portable because it folds up and comes with a timer. So we use it everywhere and my daughter is used to it.

  5. Kathie Says:

    No one said it would be Discipline is the hardest job because we hate to see our children unhappy. But, if we do not discipline, they will be more unhappy (and we certainly will be as well). My 10 y/o is testing the limits. I give her small bits of leeway and if she breaks the rules, she gets reigned in. She is very upset with me right now because of a priviledge being revoked, but when she shows me she can handle added responsibility it will be given back. I just wish I didn’t feel like such a meanie so much of the time.

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