Discipline Help

Impulse Control for Kids

Teaching impulse control for kids can be a challenge. If you want to become a more effective adult when working with young people, then give up the desire to control. Instead, hand over to the young the responsibility of learning to control themselves. This is important for every child but especially important for those young people who have repeated discipline and impulse control challenges.

The key to fostering impulse control for kids is to use the Levels of Development all the time so that it isn’t associated with corrective discipline. In fact, the more you use the hierarchy, the more young people will understand the difference between external and internal motivation. They will also become open to using the hierarchy … >>>

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The Stress-Fee Way to Motivate Students and Children

Teachers and parents are always looking for ways to motivate students and children. Whether it’s inspiring them to do their homework or clean their rooms, adults try many different techniques to get the youth to comply.

Unfortunately, many adults use external motivators at school and at home. These include telling young people what to do, threatening and punishing them, and rewarding them for things that they should do. These approaches do little to motivate students and children. Rather, they teach young people OBEDIENCE. The shortcomings of obedience appear when teachers and parents are not around to use these EXTERNAL motivators.

I created the Levels of Development to help teachers and parents focus on internal motivation. This is important because internal … >>>

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Discipline Without Stress Examples

The Discipline Without Stress methodology makes classroom discipline much easier. It empowers students through the use and practice of The Levels of Development.

Think about what you would do in each of the following scenarios that are typical in a school setting. After, we’ll discuss how Discipline Without Stress makes each incident less stressful.

Scenario 1: The school dress code says that students may not wear hats in the building. Your student is refusing to take off his hat. Most teachers say that they have no specific procedure to handle this situation.

Scenario 2: A student refuses to hang up his coat in the coat closet. In this situation, many teachers say they would take the coat and hang … >>>

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Procedures and Child Discipline

Image of a checklist

Focusing on child discipline is something parents and teacher do every day. But sometimes it seems no matter what you do or say, the child never learns to change their ways.

Here’s a secret: Whenever something a child does bothers you, whether at home or in the classroom, the solution is to teach a procedure. In fact, teaching a procedure is one of the best ways to focus on child discipline.

For example, if students all run to the door at recess, teach a procedure for exiting the classroom. If your child continually leaves their clothes on the floor, teach a procedure for dressing and undressing. You really can teach a procedure for virtually anything.

How a Procedure Makes Child

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How Teachers and Parents Can Promote Good Behavior

Image of a teacher and student high-fiving

Promoting good behavior is something both teachers and parents want for the children in their lives. And it’s always easier to do when the teachers and parents work together.

Following is an email I received from a teacher about students, parents, and good behavior.

“I am interested in implementing your ideas in my classroom. They make such sense to me, and I am very excited! What do you recommend for communicating about student behavior with the parents? In previous years I used a behavior classroom chart and a six-weeks calendar where daily behavior is recorded and sent home each day. I do not want to use that system any longer. However, I will have parents who will want to know … >>>

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Child Discipline Done Right

positive discipline

Every parent and teacher struggles with child discipline from time to time. They want to use authority in their approach, but not necessarily be labeled as authoritarian. The keys to the success of using authority without being punitive are in using positive communications, empowering by offering choices, and by prompting reflection. These practices instill the mindset that the objective is to raise responsibility, rather than to punish. I talk about each of these in detail in my books Discipline Without Stress and Parenting Without Stress.

Punishment fosters evasion of responsibility and also has the disadvantage of increasing the distance between parents and children. A far more effective approach than punishment is to treat any situation as a teaching and … >>>

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Obedience Does Not Create Desire

When enforcing rules, imposing punishments, or doling out rewards, be aware that these approaches aim at obedience, rather than promoting responsibility—and that obedience does not create desire.

The most effective approach to have young people do what adults want them to do is to tap into their emotions. Following rules requires thinking—not feelings. Yet feelings and emotions drives the majority of our decisions.

I use the word “Responsibilities” rather than “Rules” because I am able to have young people WANT to become responsible. I do this by tapping into the good feelings a person gets from being responsible. Once young people are exposed to the Levels of Development, they want to raise themselves to the highest level—simply by the … >>>

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Rewards Sabotage Teamwork

bad teamwork

I’ve long-asserted that rewards are counter-intuitive. A friend told me the following story that illustrates how rewards also sabotage teamwork. My friend was chatting with a man who coaches sports teams of 8 and 9-year-olds. He mentioned that he had a lot of difficulty this year in getting the kids to work together as a team.

My friend, an experienced primary teacher, started to offer some suggestions that she had found successful for developing an atmosphere of teamwork in her classroom. But the gentleman quickly stopped her.

“Oh, you don’t understand,” he said. “It’s not the kids who are the problem; it’s the parents! The parents have all told their kids that they would get money for every goal they … >>>

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Tips for Behavior Management

behavior management

Many teachers ask me for behavior management tips. They complain about “unpredictable” or “problematic” students and want to know to minimize these challenges.

I’m sure we all have experienced “unpredictable” or “problematic” student behaviors in our classes. The key question is how can we respond to them in positive ways that are helpful to the student exhibiting the behavior, to the rest of our students, and to our own sanity?

In order to foster positive, not punitive classroom management strategies, teachers need to always keep this question in mind: “Will what I am about to do or say bring me closer or will it push me away farther from the person with whom I am communicating?” This is the most … >>>

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How to Praise Children the Right Way

praise children

We all want to praise children for doing good things. But not all praise is created equal. The following points address how to effectively praise children.

1. If you would not use the same praise to an adult, resist using it with a young person.

2. Eliminate starting with, “I’m so pleased that….” The inference is that the youngster’s motivation is to please YOU.

Here is an alternative to praise: acknowledgments. They are more effective than praise and accomplish what you want without praise’s disadvantage.

(Please keep in mind that I am NOT suggesting NEVER praise children; just keep it to a minimum and acknowledge more.)

Saying, “I’m so proud of you for doing your work” implies that the student … >>>

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Dealing with a Troubled Teen

troubled teen

We’ve all seen or interacted with a troubled teen. They’re rebellious, defiant, and even rude in some cases. They certainly challenge parents and teachers who want what’s best for them yet are tired of dealing with them.

A parent wrote to me about her 15-year-old daughter. She said that her troubled teen was determined to boycott any parenting techniques the parents tried to employ, including suggestions from the Parenting Without Stress book.

According to the parent, the daughter asserted that she was moving out as soon as she turned 18. The parent also commented that the daughter usually made good choices on the big decisions, but was miserable to live with on a daily basis, especially when stressed. The … >>>

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Should You Bribe Students for Good Behavior?

bribe children for good behavior

Is bribing students for good behavior ever a good choice? Consider these questions:

  • If a police officer pulls you over for speeding, should you bribe the officer to not give you a ticket? Of course not!
  • If a co-worker misses a deadline on a project, should you bribe them to get their work done on time? No!
  • If a student in your class doesn’t do their homework, should you bribe them to complete it? Never!
  • If your child misbehaves, should you bribe them for good behavior? No way!

In all these instances, bribes are not a good idea. So why then do so many adults still try to “reward” youth in order to manipulate behavior? After all, a reward is … >>>

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Positive Discipline for Inattentive Students

Positive Discipline for Inattentive Students

No matter what subject you teach, you can practice positive discipline for inattentive students.

Inattentive students are certainly a challenge, but they need not derail your lesson plan. After all, at some point all students will ignore a lesson going on in class. Perhaps they are preoccupied with a personal challenge. Maybe they are tired. Or perhaps the information simply doesn’t interest them. Losing a student’s attention once in a while is normal. However, sometimes certain students ignore the lesson every day. Rather than listen to the teacher, they routinely do other things, such as homework for another class. This is when positive discipline is needed.

Here is a question a teacher wrote me recently: “I have a student in … >>>

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Child Discipline: Traditional vs Modern Approaches

Child DisciplineWhen it comes to child discipline, are you still using traditional approaches, or have you realized that tradition doesn’t always work?

Tradition is the means by which many people solve problems, cope with life, and transmit values. Realize that tradition extends everywhere: how we eat, where and when we sleep, what we wear, what we say to ourselves and others, etc. Tradition is the way many people make decisions and solve problems. However, the decisions only work if we inherit the same problems our ancestors did.

Unfortunately, traditional approaches to many problems too often do not work these days because we’re living in a world of new problems in a rapidly changing society. Peter Drucker, the famous management guru, once … >>>

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Defiant Child? Try Influence Instead

defiant childMost adults try to control a defiant child. But control rarely works. If you’ve tried to control a defiant child, regardless of their age, you’ve likely been met with counterwill.

“Counterwill” is the name for the natural human resistance to being controlled. Although adults experience this phenomenon, we seem to be surprised when we encounter it in children. Counterwill is the most misunderstood and misinterpreted dynamic in adult-child relations.

This instinctive resistance can take many forms—the reactive “No!” of the toddler, resistance when hurried, disobedience or defiance, and lack of motivation. Counterwill can manifest itself in procrastination or in doing the opposite of what is expected. It can be expressed as passivity, negativity, or argumentativeness and is such a universal … >>>

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Best Discipline for Children

best discipline for childrenBoth parents and teachers wonder what is the best discipline for children. For many adults, doling out punishments in the form of time-outs, principal referrals, or grounding is the norm. Those who know my work realize that I disagree with these approaches. So that then begs the question: “What is the best discipline for children?”

Based on what people have read about the Discipline Without Stress methodology, some may conclude that I am against all punishments. This is a wrong assumption. I have no problem with ADULTS using punishments for justice, fairness, or safety.

With young people, however, the problem is not the punishment or the consequence for inappropriate behavior (levels A and B); rather, it is the question of … >>>

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Discipline and Society

Those who use the Discipline Without Stress methodology quickly realize that the approach has far reaching effects beyond the classroom. 

Presently, our whole society is plagued with values confusion, resulting in inappropriate behaviors and decisions in every aspect of life: work, politics, home, etc. In fact, undesirable behaviors (Levels A and B) are prevalent and rampant in our society. The news provides us with endless examples of this. It seems apparent that our whole society is now in need of “raising responsibility” and of becoming more conscious of choices made so that our society as a whole does not feel the negative effects.

Knowing this, schools need Discipline Without Stress now more than ever so that the emerging generations can … >>>

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Avoid This Discipline Without Stress Mistake

If you are new to the Disciple Without Stress approach, here is some advice:

One common early mistake teachers make is to think that knowledge of the levels, ABCD, is the “magic key” to Discipline Without Stress—that once students know the levels and can identify their level at any point in time, that all the teacher has to do is ask, “At what level is this behavior?” and the child will magically move to level C or D. If only it were that easy!

Realize that the levels are just a UNIQUE vocabulary aspect of Discipline Without Stress that enables teachers and students to more easily communicate about types of behavior choices. They also enable students to reflect silently in … >>>

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