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Difference Between Abuse and Discipline

Abuse vs Discipline

The difference between abuse and discipline may not seem clear to many people. A person should draw the line and not give room to any confusion. Abuse is maltreatment to a child, man, woman or animal whereas discipline is the training of the mind and character of people.

Abuse can be painful and harmful both psychologically and physically whereas discipline can be done by various methods including punishment and detention as what is done in the school or classroom. Abuse is the practice of harming others by using various means. There are many types of abuses such as verbal abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse , psychological and substance abuse. Misuse or inflicting harm and damage on anyone or on anything also fall in the category of abuse.

The training and making people observe order is called discipline. Discipline can be observed in the calm and controlled state of mind as well as in mental self- control. It also means to work in an orderly or controlled regular ways. On the other hand abuse is going way beyond the boundaries of law and order. .

Child abuse and child discipline are two very different things. Child training or teaching discipline is kept under some boundary or limits. When child training crosses the limits it becomes child abuse. There are many ways to train or discipline a child that involve enforcement of different consequences. These could be natural or imposed and these may allow the child to learn through his own experiences.

Discipline versus abuse is something that has been discussed for a long time now. Inexperienced parents while instilling discipline in their children often can not discern how much is too much. Too much strictness, punishment or control becomes abusive as it has crossed the limits. There had been serious injuries and even deaths involved in the name of discipline but now is clearly defined as abuse.

Spanking or beating a child up to a certain limit is not that harmful as compared to abusing a child by severely hurting or harming him. Child abuse is looked down upon in every culture whereas discipline is acquired by maintaining a balance in the emotional behavior. Panic or anger may turn disciplinary actions into abusive ones which may cause damaged personalities. Abuse is not acceptable since the maltreatment can cause serious damages and problems for the person or a child for the rest of his life.


1. Discipline is teaching rules and regulations to someone or maintaining order and control situation in school or some institution.
2. Abuse is crossing the limits to hurt someone badly causing severe physical, psychological or emotional damage.
3. Discipline is instilled to have self- control over situations, people or even emotions whereas abuse is acting without any control in behavior.
4. Abuse is looked down upon whereas discipline is considered to be effective when practiced with some restraint.
5. Abuses can be of many types that include verbal, sexual, emotional, drugs or child abuse whereas discipline can be instilled by allowing the individual to learn from his own experiences.

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