Podcast Episode 159: The Crucial Difference Between Discipline and Punishment

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In The Loop with Andy Andrews, hosted by David Loy

Click here to download the transcript of this episode.


On this week’s episode, I answer a listener question on the difference between discipline and punishment.


Before getting into that I have a quick story:

  • A few weeks ago, I was getting ready to head out of town and Polly asked, “Have you seen Carver?” Now he’s a huge standard black poodle, and it’s unusual not to see him for a few hours.
  • As I’m about to leave, Polly says that they found him. He was under the garage with Skippy, our outdoor cat. It turns out the cat was sick, and Carver been under there with it for hours taking care of it.
  • Polly took Skippy to the vet and he didn’t make it, but it’s amazing how intelligent these dogs can be.
  • These moments can be times to talk to your kids about death, and give them comfort with how small of an amount of time they will be without someone in the grand scheme of eternity.


So, what is the difference between discipline and punishment?

  • Discipline is what you are creating in a child.
  • Punishment is a necessary part of discipline to get to an end result that you want, which is that this person doesn’t have to be punished or disciplined again because they now understand the concept of self-discipline.
  • King Solomon said, “Discipline a child while he is young, or YOU will ruin his life.”


You want to make sure that a child knows to obey now, and if they are outside the circle of discipline then there will be a punishment.

  • When you make sure the child knows to obey, there will come a time that you can say, “stop” and they stop. Subconsciously, this child is aware that they stopped but that they still want to continue moving forward.
  • Subconsciously, this child is beginning to connect that they can make themselves do something that they don’t want to do, to get a result they want…not be punished.
  • That is the very beginning of a thought process leading to self-discipline.


Questions for Listeners

Do you have a question? Call in and your question might be featured on the show!

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