Discipline vs. Punishment
In basic terms, discipline is a positive method of teaching a child self-control and confidence. Meanwhile, punishment is one technique used in discipline. Punishment may be physicalas in spanking, hitting or causing pain. Or it may be psychological-as in disapproval, isolation, loss of privileges, or shaming. In some respects, punishment represents one end of a very broad spectrum of discipline methods.
The key to positive discipline is teaching a child what behavior is not okay. The focus is on what children are expected and allowed to do. Meanwhile, punishment focuses on past misbehavior and offers little or nothing to help a child behave better in the future. Other forms of discipline are more concerned with how a child is behaving in the present and how a parent or caregiver wants the child to behave in the future.
The reason for discipline is to help children learn self-control and take responsibility for their own behavior. Children who are raised in a way that stresses positive discipline will understand their own behavior better, show independence, and respect themselves and others. When punishment is the basis for discipline, the person who punishes the child becomes responsible for the childs behavior.
Positive discipline is a process, not a single act. It is the basis for teaching children how to get along with other people. But children who are frequently punished instead of encouraged, learn that those they depend on the most for love and care can also inflict physical and psychological pain on them.
Source: University of Minnesota Extension Service InfoU script
For more information see University of Missouri Extension Guidesheet GH6119