Here is a marvelously successful idea to stop bullying. You can use this approach to prevent bullying in classrooms, reduce bullying school-wide, and even stop bullying behaviors in homes. The key is to approach the motivation of bullying that prompts people to bully others.
Start with sharing the Levels of Development, which shows that choosing bullying behavior is operating on Level B—bothering/bullying.
Here is the procedure I used as a teacher. You can use this procedure in any circumstance to reduce bullying behavior or even completely stop bullying.
The Stop Bullying Procedure — Step One
Use a ruler or book and hold it flat so viewers see only the thin edge. Announce that it is like a teeter-totter or … >>>
This website is filled with examples of how the Levels of Development work in the classroom. As such, many people assume that the system works in a classroom setting with average, everyday students, but that it has little application outside the classroom. Nothing could be further from the truth! The Levels of Development can be used in numerous scenarios, including at-risk youth.
Consider the example of Frank Spino and how he uses the Levels of Development. Frank attended one of my seminars in Sacramento, California several years ago. He now uses the Levels of Development in various situations—including those when he assists the local police. I asked Frank to share how he uses the Levels of Development after arresting a … >>>
When people, especially the young, learn the difference between external and internal motivation, they become empowered to resist bullying and victimhood thinking, and to make responsible choices. The Levels of Development explains the difference between external motivation and internal motivation. Even young children can understand these concepts.
Although technically all motivation is internal, being able to articulate something outside of ourselves that prompts or motivates will help us make more responsible decisions. Keep in mind that it is the effect of the Levels of Development—how people grow—that makes learning the levels (concepts) so valuable. Think of the Levels of Development as rubric or reference for making decisions in life.
Internal Motivation Prompts Change
Additionally, when children learn both of the … >>>
Discipline problem often occur due to a lack of student engagement. If the teacher is promoting something interesting, students are quite capable of being engaged. So, instead of thinking, “I am going to control this disruptive behavior,” a more effective approach would be to think, “What can I do that is interesting to prevent students from misbehaving in the first place?” After all, curiosity is a great motivator.
The punishment mindset has many disadvantages, especially when you’re punishing due to student engagement issues. If punishment becomes arbitrary, any young person is going to feel angry and even disillusioned. When people in authority want others to behave responsibility, it is the leader’s responsibility to first behave in this same manner. The … >>>
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 … >>>
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 Developmentto help teachers and parents focus on internal motivation. This is important because internal … >>>
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 … >>>
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.
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 … >>>
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 … >>>
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 … >>>
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 … >>>
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 … >>>
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 … >>>
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 … >>>
When 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 … >>>