I have a bit of a fascination with the origins of words. As I grew up every new word I asked about was explained to me by my mother in terms of its origin – origin, from the Latin ‘Origo’, meaning beginning, source, rise. You get my drift…
The word ‘discipline’ originates from the Latin to teach, or instruct. When the Middle English folk came along it morphed somewhat into the punishment, ‘mortification’ scourge flavour we are more familiar with today.
Falling on deaf ears
And I find that the words discipline and punishment (from the French Punir meaning rough handling) are often used interchangeably. Which isn’t a great thing, because we now know that punishment isn’t necessarily a good way to discipline. So I prefer the original meaning of discipline, it’s more effective as a means of changing or adjusting behaviour in the long term. FAR more effective.
So I wrote a piece on the (real life and practical) differences between discipline and punishment, with some ideas on how to do the former more effectively.
You can read it here and I hope it’s helpful!