The Teaching Model

Positive Discipline vs. Discipline Without Stress

Dear Marv:

Briefly, what would be the key similarities and differences between your Discipline without Stress  and the Positive Discipline method promoted by Jane Nelson?

Thank you, Joanie,


Hi Joanie,

Although Jane and I have similar goals in that we both want to promote responsibility and reduce discipline problems, our approaches are significantly different.

Here are a few:

DWS does NOT award young people for being responsible. DWS expects responsible behavior.

DWS is totally noncoercive—although not permissive.

DWS does not use external approaches. DWS differentiates between offering bribes before doing something and acknowledgments AFTER doing it.

DWS has no interest in one’s past history or environment; it is only interested in present behavior.

DWS emphasizes the importance of teaching … >>>


I need a letter to send home to parents about Discipline without Stress.


Does anyone have a letter communicate to parents about Discipline without Stress?


Here is one letter that was shared by a Kindergarten teacher in Memphis and is based on the outline Dr. Marshall provides in his book.  It may provide a starting point for your own letter.

Dear Parents,

Our classroom is a small community where teamwork and good relationships are expected. Since Kindergarten is a new experience for most students, we will spend a lot of time learning class procedures/routines and practicing them.  Each student is expected to act within our standards of behavior.

The following are the standards for our class:

1.  Be kind and nice.

2.  Be safe.

3.  Be a good listener.

4.  Take … >>>


Isn’t DWS very similar to Love and Logic?

A response by Claudia Payne, a member of the DWS Mailring:

My school has spent a great deal of money training us on L&L.  Buy DWS.  It includes Jim Fay’s philosophy and is much easier to use since it is a “system” and can be used “publicly” without any demeaning of the student.

When I need to remind students about talking I say (over my microphone) gently, playfully, “Do you need authority?”  They always say, “No.”  I then say lovingly, “Why not?”  They always say, “Because I’m going to stop.”

I have found it tremendously useful to incorporate social time into my lessons by having kids discuss with each other briefly before responding individually for the whole class.

The … >>>


I’m not sure that this discipline approach is “simple to implement!”

I’ve heard you describe the Discipline without Stress approach as “simple-to-implement.” I personally find that it takes continuous effort when I’m teaching to deal with classroom management and at the same remember to be positive, offer choices, and ask reflective questions. I wonder if others find the implementation of this discipline approach to be simple?

SIMPLE does not mean EASY – at first.

Learning how to drive an automobile is SIMPLE, but it only becomes EASY after you have driven for awhile.

This discipline approach is simple in that there are ONLY four parts to the Teaching Model–not a dozen or so. The third part, The Raise Responsibility System which is used to deal with classroom … >>>


Can Discipline without Stress be used with young children?

Can this discipline system really be used with young children in Kindergarten and First Grade? It seems as if it would be above their heads.

I’ve met a number of people, both in person and on the Internet, who express concern that the concepts of Discipline without Stress are too sophisticated to be of value to young children. Today, on the second day of a new school year, I had an interesting discussion with a six-year-old that proves to me once again that even young children can benefit greatly from exposure to the thinking of this discipline approach. The basic understandings are accessible to students of all ages.

Most years, by the second day of school we’re … >>>