Q. What is the difference between guidance and punishment?

February 3rd, 2012

by Katrina Brooke

A. Guidance is what you give children to help
them develop control and a sense of responsibility
for their own actions. Punishment is
a penalty you impose on children when they
do not obey the rules.
The difference between guidance and
punishment is that guidance involves helping
children develop control over their own
actions. For example, you want children to
avoid hitting each other because they realize
it hurts, not because they are afraid you will
punish them.1
The goal of teaching children to manage
their own behavior is self-control and selfdiscipline.
Giving children positive feedback
for positive behavior will help you and the
children in your care reach that goal.
Punishment attempts to control behavior
through fear. Punishment for negative behavior
does not help children learn to control
themselves—manage their own actions and
words appropriately—when you are not
watching. In fact, punishment may reinforce
(encourage) poor behavior by getting your
attention.
In the long run, however, both you and the
children will enjoy one another and benefit
more from an approach that rewards good
behavior with your attention

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