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Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting

Guided Choices

How to Foster Initiative in Students

Recently a teacher asked me, “Can we really expect ALL children (even kindergartners) to understand and abide by the Discipline Without Stress’ 4 levels of behavior without ANY rewards?”

Here is my reply:

YES, but you start by differentiating between ACCEPTABLE levels and UNACCEPTABLE levels. See the posters and cards at https://WithoutStress.com/Shop.

Also (and this is critical), be sure you have taught, practiced, and practiced again EVERYTHING you want your students to do. A MAJOR ERROR EVEN EXPERIENCED TEACHERS MAKE is ASSUMING that students, of any age, know what to do without first learning, practicing, and ritualizing the procedure or skill.

Once STUDENTS (especially young ones) HAVE LEARNED what YOU want them to do, they will want to do … >>>


Do “enforceable statements” fit with Discipline without Stress?


I was thinking today about the “enforceable statements” that Love and Logic is big on using.  At first, I was thinking that I might use their statements in my Discipline without Stress teaching but now I’m wondering.  I’d like another opinion on the subject.

In the Love and Logic program, instead of making rules for your students, you only tell them what YOU, the adult will do.  The thinking behind this is that the only person you ever really have control over is yourself.

I can see how some enforceable statements could be used with Discipline without Stress if they fall into the category of procedures. For example, things like :

  • “Ooops, I listen to kids who
>>>READ MORE >>>

Do self-imposed consequences provide a way for children to avoid taking responsibility?


What if a child chooses something as a consequence, that is in his/her own mind, nothing more than a way of getting out of trouble?  Although Dr. Marshall’s book has validated my beliefs on how to treat children, I do feel that in this one regard a self-imposed consequence could simply be a way out for a person in the wrong.

As well, if a child violates another person’s right, it seems fair that the person whose rights have been violated would have a say in whether they think the self-imposed consequence is a fair one.  Could you please advise me if my thinking about is correct or not.


Dr. Marshall’s approach to discipline is certainly not meant … >>>


How often should I be eliciting a consequence?


When a child does something they shouldn’t, I follow DWS and elicit the consequence from them.  There have been times however when I’ve been faced with children who don’t know how to think and apply consequences.  What do you suggest?


Elicit a consequence only when a youngster has done something that is rather drastic in nature. In the vast majority of times aim at eliciting a procedure.

Think of a youngster as a young adult who has just not achieved that stature. You want to help the person redirect impulses. Create a visual procedure to help the younger help him/herself. An example is at this link.… >>>

How can procedures be used when students misbehave?


I’m trying to get a handle on this whole concept of guided choices and procedures.  I guess I don’t really understand what a procedure is or how you would use a procedure when a student is misbehaving.  Can you give me an example?


Teaching procedures is teaching expectations.

Here is an example:

Rather than punishing students for walking down the hallway and talking without permission (against directions), students can be asked for suggestions.  The question can be put to them, “What can you do if you have the urge to talk?”

A student might volunteer, “Tell yourself not to talk.”  The teacher can respond that this is a good plan but will not produce success unless … >>>


What is a Level B TEACHER?


I understand what a Level B student is but sometimes I hear teachers asking, “Do you want me to become a Level B teacher?” Can you explain what this is all about?

One important understanding students receive when the teacher introduces the Discipline without Stress Hierarchy in the beginning of the year is that people can in effect, choose the type of relationship they wish to have with other people, including the authority figures in their life.

Good relationships are created by operating on Level C. For those who choose to operate on Level D–the highest level–relationships will be even better and more satisfying. Students are also introduced to the understanding that frequent operation on Level B … >>>


I have an ADHD student who is very disruptive!


I have an ADHD student in my class who takes up at least a third of my time.I’m not sure if this would be part of the DwStress approach, but I have decided that from now on he will go to the In-School Discipline Room whenever he is disrupting my class. I feel that the essays and self-referrals are not working and that the best thing for the rest of my students is to get this child out of the room when he is disruptive.


EXACTLY!  It is simply not fair to other students or parents to allow this student to disrupt everyone else’s learning. His staying in your class is CONTINGENT upon his acting on >>>


Developing Positive Teaching Habits in Discipline Situations

Recently I was glancing through a book from the public library: THE BOOK OF NURTURING–Nine Natural Laws for Enriching Your Family Life by Linda and Richard Eyre.

In the chapter on discipline, a little story caught my eye because it contained a very PROACTIVE and POSITIVE suggestion that could be used by anyone who wanted to make changes in their life or wanted to develop new habits.

I find that many people are first attracted to the DWS Teaching Model because they like the idea of acting positively in discipline situations with young people, yet initially they find that the habit of positivity doesn’t come to them either naturally or automatically. Most people find that it’s something they must consciously … >>>

Dr. Marvin (Marv) Marshall
Phone: 714.220.1882
PO Box 11 Los Alamitos, CA 90720
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