Dr. William Glasser, the originator of “Reality Therapy” and “Choice Theory,” believes that attempts to change others by using “external control psychology” (including the common discipline approaches of imposed punishments or rewards) are doomed to fail.
He refers to such “external approaches” as the “seven deadly habits.” He lists them as: criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, and rewarding to control.
To prove his point, just respond to the following:
- How do you feel when someone criticizes you?
- How do you feel when someone blames you?
- How do you feel when someone complains to you?
- How do you feel when someone nags you?
- How do you feel when someone threatens to do something to you?
- How do you feel when someone punishes you?
- How do you feel when someone offers you a bribe to do something?
Remember that a change is emotional as much as it is intellectual. We know we should or should not do things, but it is only when our emotions kick in that we are prompted to act.
Rarely will we want to do something when we feel bad about doing it. People, including youth, do better when they feel better.
In short, using any of the “seven deadly habits” destroys relationships and result in resistance, which leads to disconnection. Using any of the “seven deadly habits” is not a good way to improve relationships or discipline youth.