Difference Between Abuse and Discipline (With Table)

A disciplined person is capable of achieving every desired goal. Discipline is a very important life-value. Parents always wants their children to be well-mannered and disciplined. But sometimes they cross the line which results in child abuse. Physically hitting children or mentally abusing them with words all comes under abusing. There is a line between teaching discipline and abusing, which shouldn’t be crossed.

Abuse vs Discipline

The main difference between abuse and discipline is that discipline means training body and mind to obey rules in a right way. While abusing means forcefully trying to control the life of other person.

Abusing is a offence which incudes harming or hurting someone against their will. Mentally torturing someone is also a kind of abuse which affects the life of victim in a bad way. The victim is terrorised and frightened. There are rules and regulations of law which protects the victim from exploitation.

Discipline is a very important life-value which helps a person to achieve their goals. It helps in maintaining the consistency. Discipline is required in every field and all phases of life. Even following daily routine on correct time like sleeping and waking up early is discipline. May it be soldiers in army or a student everyone should be disciplined.

Comparison Table Between Abuse and Discipline

MeaningHarming a person physically or unfairly controlling themTraining of mind and body to have control over actions
According to law It is a criminal offense and not accepted by lawIt is accepted by law if done in a harmless way
Impact on lifeAdverse and bad effect on lifeGood habits and healthy life
ResultFear, unstable mental health and terrorAffection, mutual respect and good habits

What is Abuse?

Any action becomes abusive when the law is on the side of victim. Abuse is when a person tries to unfairly control or gain benefit from other person. Abuse happens in many ways.

There are various types of abuse which affects the victim in one way or other. Some of the common types of abuse are: physical abuse, mental abuse, verbal or emotional abuse, cultural abuse etc. Physical abuse is when a person forcefully hit other person. Mental abuse is when someone’s mental health is hampered by series of actions or words.

Emotional abuse is when a person is made question his/her own way of living. These type of abuse are silent killers, as they have no visible scars but takes longer to heal. Law have strict rule against all types of abuse. If any person is feeling exploited or abused in any form, law has power to protect the victim and their rights.

Sometimes children are abused for sake of making them disciplined. Parents cross their lines and hit their children physically or mentally torture them unintentionally which is wrong in eyes of law. There are other ways of communicating and teaching their children the difference between right and wrong. Discipline can be taught to children without hurting them.

Children should not feel fearful to share any problems in their life with parents. Parents should make children comfortable with them. Sometimes parents emotionally abuse their children by constantly humiliating them and forcing them for something like scoring good marks. These has a very bad impact on child’s brain. Good parenting is something that every child deserves. Parents should be the biggest support of their children.

What is Discipline?

Discipline is the training of mind and body to have control over actions. It is the practice of making a habit to obey rules. Discipline can also be defined as having maximum self-control over mind and body.

Discipline is something required in every field of life. Discipline is a crucial part of achieving a goal. Discipline makes oneself consistent. It also gives the power to avoid all distractions around us and stay focused. For example:

  • A sportsperson needs to be very disciplined and consistent if he wants to perform well. Getting up in the morning, doing training and practice, following diet etc. all requires discipline.
  • A student needs to be very disciplined if he wants to score good marks. Preparing and following time-table, thoroughly revising lessons everyday is only possible with having discipline.
  • A soldier in army has to follow a very strict routine and be very disciplined in order to maintain their health and do all the task.

There is a misconception among people that punishing children makes them discipline. Giving punishment to make them discipline can be abusive sometime and have a very adverse effect on their mental health. Discipline can be brought in children by guiding them sincerely, communicating about right and wrong and making them understand the perspective good for them.

Discipline can be taught by making the child understand the difference between right and wrong and importance of discipline. If children are aware about how discipline can help them become a better person in future they will become self-disciplined without their parents forcing them to be one.

Main Differences Between Abuse and Discipline

  1. Abusing is when it involves harming and torturing a person. Teaching dicipline is teaching a very important value required further in life.
  2. Abusing is done out of anger and hate. While discipline has a good intention of teaching life value.
  3. Abusing is done to create terror. While discipline is taught for child’s better life.
  4. Abusing humiliates the person. On the other hand discipline gives confidence and makes a person fearless
  5. Abusing ceases the confidence. While discipline gives confidence.
  6. Abusing takes away the freedom and make them fearful. While discipline makes a person affectionate and happy.
  7. Abuse leads to terror and unstable mental health. Discipline leads to mutual respect.


There is a line between discipline and abusing. When the act becomes harmful for other person it is abuse. Discipline can be taught without harming or hurting someone. Discipline is a very good thing which everyone should have in their life for achieving their goals. Discipline boost confidence of a person.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213497000045
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1989-12183-001