Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

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Discipline vs. Punishment

Tonight I have been reading in your e-book about discipline vs. punishment. Do you have any more material on both of these? As I understand your idea, if I give my son a consequence for his action and he does it anyway, I then enforce the stated consequence - that seems like punishment to me. What am I not understanding?

Thanks, D.


Great question D.,

--> Punishment is what parents do when they are angry with their child and want some form of revenge.
--> Discipline is what parents do when they help their child learn to make better choices.

--> Punishment is about parents trying to win a power struggle with their child.
--> Discipline is refusing to engage in a power struggle by calmly issuing a consequence as a learning tool with no ulterior motives.

--> Punishment is based on pride and ego.
--> Discipline is based on love and caring.

--> Punishment is NOT instructive.
--> Discipline is instructive.

Does this make sense?


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The Strong-Willed Out-of-Control Teen

The standard disciplinary techniques that are recommended for “typical” teenagers do not take into account the many issues facing teens with serious behavioral problems. Disrespect, anger, violent rages, self-injury, running away from home, school failure, hanging-out with the wrong crowd, drug abuse, theft, and legal problems are just some of the behaviors that parents of defiant teens will have to learn to control.

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