Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him. Proverbs 22:15
Your kids are born with a bent towards selfishness. I don’t think any parent can argue with that. And it definitely takes some correction to drive the foolishness out of your kids.
But there’s a fine line between discipline and punishment.
- We let our anger take control. When your child does something that really pushes your buttons, anger motivates your reaction, and that reaction trends toward punishing.
- We get lazy. Punishment is easy: Go to your room! You’re grounded! No discussion. Ever.
- Discipline is harder work than punishing. Discipline means that you must focus on what your child needs to learn and on the best way to help him learn. It may be taking away privileges–which by itself is punishment, but coupled with guidance and conversation, becomes discipline. You have to do more thinking when you discipline than when you punish.