Discipline for Smart People

This site is often referred to as “discipline for smart people” because this type of person understands that no one can coerce another person into changing one’s mind and that the most effective approach for influencing a person to change behavior is to induce the person to influence her/himself.

The approach has two fundamental characteristics. The first is that stress—oftentimes associated with discipline—is significantly reduced. The second is that external manipulators, such as rewards for appropriate behavior, are not necessary because they are counterproductive to promoting responsibility. Similarly, threats and punishments are not necessary either. Imposed punishments are based on the theory that a person needs to be harmed to be taught—to be hurt in order to learn.

Most people would prefer not to punish someone they care about, but they simply do not know how to discipline without the use of punishments. The site shows how to promote responsible behavior by using 21st century approaches espoused by such authorities as Stephen Covey, W. Edwards Deming, and William Glasser.

These experts in changing behavior would agree with this totally noncoercive (but not permissive) approach. The increasing violence between students and teachers reported in last week’s and today’s news is a direct result of using coercion—either on the part of the teacher or student.

Coercive approaches simply do not work with todays young people. Teachers will continue to be under stress as long as  they continue to use threats and coercive approaches. Discipline without Stress accomplishes what teachers want while at the same time increasing good relationships.