The Ministry of Discipline, an online campaign for parents and care-givers, was thus formed to develop parents' notional understanding of the term 'discipline,' and to offer a more positive definition of the term.
Mostly, the concept of discipline is modelled after a popular view of what happens during military training. Military discipline is understood as a no-nonsense approach to physical fitness, conformity, proper behaviour, and relates somewhat to the donning of neat uniform. From the application of this discipline comes a soldier who can take orders, and who outwardly seems to be more in control of himself.
People who have no exposure to military knowledge have to take a leap to extrapolate a framework for the term. Their interpretation is influenced by a number of factors: the concept of tough military training, their own cultural perspective, and their personal experiences; mostly surmising that discipline is equated with physical punishment.
This discipline-as-punishment approach is used to elicit conformity from young children. If the child does something non-compliant, discipline is meted out to stop the child from whatever he or she is doing, and to encourage the child to behave in a more conforming manner. This is a simple transaction and is not very difficult to understand: wrong action is met with physical discomfort, reduction of discomfort occurs when the correct action has been observed. Punishment also known as 'corporal punishment' (no relation to the soldiering analogy) can take many forms. It includes but is not limited to open-handed smacking, smacking with an implement, ear-pulling, hair-pulling, shaking, squeezing.