Discipline and Change

Although you can control another person through outdated discipline techniques like imposed punishments and rewards, you cannot change what a person thinks. People think and change themselves.

Ben Franklin said, “You cannot coerce people into changing their minds.” Once you learn this simple fact of life, the next question is, “How can I best influence the person to change?” The answer will always be through a noncoercive approach. Using positivity, choice, and reflection (all of which are discussed in detail on this site and in my books Discipline Without Stress and Parenting Without Stress) will increase your effectiveness in influencing others and will also result in improved relationships and fewer discipline challenges.

Remember, a change in behavior is as much emotional as it is intellectual. We are more prone to act when our emotions are aroused. The negative emotions (such as embarrassment, humiliation, and anger) that arise from coercive discipline approaches are counterproductive and work against good relations and positive motivation.