Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – April 2014

Volume 14 Number 4


  1. Welcome
  2. Promoting Responsibility
  3. Increasing Effectiveness
  4. Improving Relationships
  5. Promoting Learning
  6. Parenting
  7. Discipline without Stress (DWS)
  8. Reviews and Testimonials 




Determination and perseverance move the world; thinking that others will do it for you is a sure way to fail. —Marva Collins


Marva Collins was the founder and principle for 30 years of Westside Preparatory School in Garfield Park, an impoverished neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.

I will be presenting three seminars in and around the Chicago area this month. Following is the Table of Contents from one of the most inspiring education books, “THE MARVA COLLINS WAY.”

(Notice that her first chapter is about what “Discipline Without Stress” shows how to do.)

Chapter 1 Trust, caring, and empowerment
Chapter 2 Marva’s background
Chapter 3 Positivity and teaching
Chapter 4 What’s wrong with education
Chapter 5 Transforming everything into a learning experience
Chapter 6 Being an outcast
Chapter 7 Having student want to learn
Chapter 8 Motivating a helpless child
Chapter 9 Creating a community of learners
Chapter 10 Teaching reading
Chapter 11 Success when failure is not allowed
Chapter 12 Preparing children for life
Chapter 13 Building character through Shakespeare
Chapter 14 Parents and publicity
Chapter 15 Requirements of a good teacher
Chapter 16 Teaching failures

“You were not born to fail. You were born to succeed.” page 163


The Bureau of Education & Research (BER) is sponsoring my presentations entitled, “Powerful Strategies for Reducing Classroom Behavior Problems: Discipline Strategies that Work” (K-12), as indicated below:

April 28 Cherry Hill (Voorhees) New Jersey
April 29  Chicago South (Oak Lawn) Illinois
April 30 Rockford, Illinois
May 1 Chicago North (Elk Grove Village)
May 2 Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada)

If you would like more information, link to BER pand click on “Find an Event Near You” (in the upper right corner for the above locations). You also can call BER at 1-800-735-3503 (M-F 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.).


The 100-page Resource Guide I use in my seminars is available in a printable version.


After presenting in Basel, Switzerland last month, I visited a number of their many museums—including Albert Einstein’s residence and museum. Perhaps because of my interest in self-disicpline and responsibility, I would like to share with you a neon display at the Kuntstmuseum (art museum) in Basel. Each of the following adjoining words flashed back and forth. The first column listed the Seven Deadly Sins:

Anger – Fortitude
Gluttony – Temperance
Avarice – Justice
Pride – Prudence
Sloth – Charity
Envy – Hope
Lust – Faith


I recently viewed for a second time a recording of the motion picture musical “My Fair Lady.” It dawned on me after seeing it again that the movie captures the same spirit that Marva Collins makes about expectations.

In the movie, Eliza Doolittle said to Colonel Pickering, “I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins because he always treats me like a flower girl.

“But I know I will be a lady to you because you always treat me like a lady.

” This is the same approach superior teachers, parents, and leaders use with people with whom they work.

Perhaps Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe stated it best. My education book quotes him: “If you treat someone as he is, he will stay as he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he could and ought to be, he will become what he could and ought to be.”


Consider the fable about the little tiger orphaned immediately after birth and raised by a friendly herd of goats. The little tiger played with the goat kids, drank milk from the nanny goat, and slept securely in the goat’s cave. Quite naturally, the little fellow came to think of himself as a goat. He did his best to discipline himself and even bleat like a goat. He tried to cultivate a taste for grass and paper.

One day a huge Bengal tiger came bounding into the clearing where the little tiger was playing with the goats. As the tiger roared, the goats ran for cover. The little tiger was the only “goat” who didn’t race away. Instead, he felt strangely drawn to the huge, magnificent creature.

The big tiger led the little fellow down the hill to a nearby river and urged him to take a close look at his reflection in the water. Whenever he had looked in the water before, he had seen his reflection as an odd-looking goat because that was what he expected to see. But now he saw his reflection differently—as a tiger.

The big tiger let out a tree-shaking roar. “Why don’t you roar like that?”

“Never tried,” said the little tiger. He sat back on his haunches as a big tiger would, took a deep breath, and tried to roar. To his surprise, he felt a rumble deep within his belly. It grew stronger. He opened his mouth wide and the most amazing roar came out that went cascading farther than he could imagine. From that day forward he knew he could never be a goat again.

You can be a tiger, not a goat. A lion, not a mouse. Your big self, not your small self. You may never have tried to roar.

This is the type of attribute Marva Collins inspired and empowered in her students.


A personal connection is the best gift a person can give in a challenging situation. In fact, strong relationships can curb almost any problem. Letting people know you care is the most important thing you can communicate. Here are two questions to ask yourself—especially when working with young people:

1) Does the person feel safe with me no matter what happens?

2) Have I used kind and encouraging words in my relationship with the person?


Working Effectively with the Difficult, Defiant and Noncompliant Student” is Dr. James Sutton’s popular teacher inservice program and is now available through a new format that uses the Internet and his focused materials in a way that enables an entire faculty to train in small groups.

The CHANGING BEHAVIOR DIGEST is sponsoring this faculty training for schools. The entire 15-part training presentation can be completed in a day or in several sessions.

For a short video on this format of teacher inservice, the program goals and objectives, and a brief, real-time sample of the training, send a request to this email address: mailto:RBI@friendlyoakspublications.com


If a child breaks a rule, what is the parent’s natural tendency? Response: to enforce the rule and dish out consequences.

If a child doesn’t follow a procedure, the response is to re-teach that procedure, restate it, seek understanding, or be a coach.

That’s a big difference between acting in an enforcing mode or in an empowering mode to have the youngster do what you would like.

Unfortunately, too many parents today are relying on rules rather than teaching procedures and as a result they’re making everyone’s journey much more difficult and stressful.

If your objective is to promote responsible behavior, then motivate them to do so by asking, yourself, “Does my child know the procedure to do what I would like?”

Simply remember that rules impose and do not create desire. Procedures empower.


A few thoughts regarding how people view “discipline”:

“Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.” —Julie Andrews

“True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline.” —Mortimer J. Adler

“He that would be superior to external influences must first become superior to his own passions.” —Samuel Johnson

“The first and the best victory is to conquer self.” —Plato

“We must all suffer one of two things: the ‘pain’ of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.” —im Rohn

“I cannot conceive of a good life which isn’t, in some sense, a self-disciplined life.” —Philip Toynbee

“In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves. Self-discipline with all of them came first.” —Harry S Truman

“Discipline yourself and others won’t need to.” —John Wooden

The easiest and most successful approach to be successful in this arena is to establish and implement procedures. —MM


The following is from a testimonial:

Our school began implementation of DWS this year and everyone was very pleased at how quickly students learned the levels. It’s great to see a kindergarten student who can tell you what anarchy means. One of the kindergarten students wrote that one of the best things about kindergarten was working at Level D.

—Maureen Ahern-Stamoulis, Cashell Elementary School, Rockville, Maryland

The EDUCATION book: 

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to do a lengthy interview with B.F. Skinner. I concluded that I do not subscribe to much of what he taught–for example, his rejection of all inferred states such as attitudes and motivation. Dr. Marvin Marshall’s book addresses a fundamental problem that every society must solve: how to produce individuals who will take responsibility for doing the important tasks that need to get done. He focuses on what is the essence of good citizenship in the home, school, and nation. Using some of the latest findings of social science, Dr. Marshall has developed an approach that enables parents and teachers to help young people grow into responsible citizens and live satisfying and rewarding inner-directed lives.”
—Gene Griessman, Ph.D. Author of The Words Lincoln Lived By

The PARENTING book: 

“I have gleaned wonders from this book! There are so many things I have learned and implemented with my children.””
—Michelle Holbrook, Payson, Utah