Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting

Are “sticker plans” compatible with the Discipline without Stress approach?

QUESTION:
At our last behavior team meeting, it was decided that a “sticker behavior plan” should be implemented for one of my students who doesn’t accomplish much in class. I’m new to Discipline without Stress and I’m wondering if this kind of individual behavior plan would work in conjunction with this approach? It seems contradictory. Any thoughts would be welcome.

RESPONSE:
Your feeling is correct. A sticker plan is contradictory to a system of discipline based on internal motivation. Discipline without Stress employs the power of inner satisfaction to influence students to achieve, while a behaviour modification approach focuses on offering an external incentive (in this case, stickers), in order to influence student behavior.

The fundamental characteristic of an approach employing external motivation is that another person is responsible for changing the student’s behaviour. The adult does the thinking and then presents the student with a plan to deal with the problem.

As a rule, such approaches produce results only as long as external incentives are offered, and only as long as the particular incentive remains attractive to the student.

In direct contrast, an internal motivation approach makes the student responsible for changing his/her OWN behaviour. The student, rather than the adult, is the one who does the thinking and with guidance, develops a plan to deal with the problem.

While a reward program may result in sudden and temporary compliance, over time, a program based on internal motivation such as DISCIPLINE without STRESS, will result in far greater gains in terms of long lasting personal growth for a student.

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Dr. Marvin Marshall
P.O. Box 2227
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Phone: 714.220.1882
marv@marvinmarshall.com
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