Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – APRIL 2015

 Volume 15 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  



Questions unite; answers divide.


The Discipline Without Stress eLearning course ($229) is available at the introductory special offer price of $99.95, a $129.05 savings.

The 4-hour presentation is divided into 54 short segments that subscribers can browse by topics 24/7. You can view one of the modules.

This special offer ALSO applies to SCHOOLS, which can have faculty, grade level, or other group meetings view and discuss specific topics. View a short video of a principal who implemented Discipline Without Stress. 

The course was initially designed or classroom teachers. However, any parent, grandparent, or adult working with young people will learn to become more effective and improve relationships–and learn how to have young people do what YOU want them to do because THEY want to do it.

Here is an overview of the eLearning course:

I Classroom Management (A better approach than rules)

II Three Principles to Practice: Positivity Choice Reflection

III The Raise Responsibility System (the discipline system)
     Hierarchy of Social Development
     Checking for Understanding
     Guided Choices

IV Using the Hierarchy to Improve Learning and Academic Achievement

Additional Concepts
   An Administrator’s View
   Classroom Meetings
   Using Rewards
   Using PBIS with DWS
   Problems with Praise
   Closing and University Credit

Learn more.


The school In-House Staff Development has been reduced in price to include the eLearning course.


April public seminars: I will be presenting “Powerful Strategies for Reducing Classroom Behavior Problems” for the Bureau of Education & Research (BER) according to the following schedule:

April 13 Pasadena (Monrovia), California
April 14 Oxnard, California
April 15 Anaheim, California
April 16 Sacramento (Elk Grove), California
April 17 San Jose (Sunnyvale), California

To order a brochure, call BER at 800.735.3503 (M-F) 6 a.m – 6 p.m. Pacific Time.

My thoughts on the tragic death of 149 innocent people who were killed when the German co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, locked the pilot out of the cockpit and aimed the plane to crash into a mountain:

Years ago, this situation would have been called “evil.” Today we refer to the person being depressed as “sick.”

Sigmund Freud referred to depression as anger against oneself. Severely depressed people cannot function normally. But the co-pilot was able to function normally. Depression and lack of conscience are not the same. What he lacked was a proper morally functioning conscience. He was a narcissist–even earlier bragging that he would do something so he would become historic.

People with a moral conscious do not kill others. Depression does not prompt people to kill. His behavior was plain and simply evil.

Malcolm Gladwell, the researcher and best-selling author of “Blink,” “Outliers,” “The Tipping Point,” and “What the Dog Saw” has another book worth reading: “David and Goliath.”

The book insightfully discusses topics that include large vs. small class size, prestige vs. “lower-ranked” universities, and the effects of competition on one’s self-image and success.


Until the 1960s, schoolbooks were replete with vocabulary words like integrity, industry, work, perseverance, self-reliance, self-examination, honesty, character, and responsibility. There was ennoblement in hard work and an emphasis on education and self-discipline.

The word “earned” was commonplace but is not used very often today. This concept has recently been replaced with the concept of being “entitled”–something that is awarded whether or not it has been earned.

“Entitled” connotes passivity, whereas the concept of “earning” connotes empowerment, being active, and being in control.

It’s a simple fact of life that people value more that for which they work. Unfortunately, many young people are not learning that the greatest satisfaction comes from that which is EARNED, not from that which is given.


Louis L’Amour, in his book “Bendigo Shafter,” had a character say:

“A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner, so if one’s life is cold and bare he can blame none but himself. You have a chance to select from some pretty elegant furnishings.”

I invite you to reflect on this understanding: “With what do you furnish your mind?”


In my books, speeches, and professional work, I stress the importance of positivity. But sometimes you simply have to tell people “No,” even though it’s not a positive word. So how can you say “No” without actually saying “No”? Here’s a simple four-step process:

1. Acknowledge the importance of the request. “I understand that is important to you.”

2. Inform the person that you have a problem with it. “But I have a problem with it.”

3. Describe the problem as you see it. Example: “Your doing it would put a burden on everyone else.”

4. Elicit from the person something else. “Let’s think of something that would be fair to everyone.”

By this approach, you’re saying “No” without actually using the word, and you’re getting the other person involved in a better solution. It is a positive way to say “No” and not hinder the relationship.


In ancient Greece, Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom. The following story offers some good advice to keep in mind the next time you either hear or are about to repeat a rumor.

One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance who ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?”

“Wait,” Socrates replied. “Before you tell me, I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”

“Triple filter?”

“That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my student let’s take a moment to filter what you’re going to say.

The first filter is TRUTH. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“No,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it.”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of GOODNESS. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?”

“No, on the contrary….”

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad even though you’re not certain it’s true?”

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

Socrates continued. “You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter, the filter of USEFULNESS. Is what you want to tell me going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really.”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is not TRUE, not GOOD, and not even USEFUL, why tell it to me at all?”

With his head lowered, the man just walked away.


A few thoughts about boys:

Boys love video games because whenever they lose, the defeat is private.

Boys measure everything they do or say with a single yardstick: “Does this make me look weak?” If it does, the boy won’t do it.

Having boys placed in a position where they lose dignity is counterproductive to their success.

Whenever dealing with young boys, ask yourself, “Am I empowering then?” or “Am I placing them in a position where they feel thier dignity is on the line?”

Boys do not want to feel controlled or lose dignity. These powerless feelings prompt “counterwill,” the natural tendency to resist.

To be effective, communicate what you want (not what you don’t want) suggest options to reduce coercion, and be ready to ask a reflective question. Pages of such questions are in books and Resource Guide.


In a recent conversation, I was constantly referring to consequences, but the other person kept referring to punishments.

My point was that I have no objection to ELICITING consequences but I do not IMPOSE PUNISHMENTS. When punishments are IMPOSED, relationships are fractured, victimhood feelings are created, and the person has no ownership in the decision.

On the other hand, when the person decides on the consequences the person owns the decision. Since people do not generally argue with their own decisions, thuis approach does not create a victimhood mentality, and the chances of not repeating inappropriate behavior is enhanced.


I found lots of books and literature on the disadvantages of rewards and punishments, but your book “Discipline without Stress, Punishment or Rewards” was the only book I could find which offered a practical alternative to be used in the classroom. I read with interest the “Raise Responsibility System,” and it really made sense to me. I can see it working and was quite excited!

Diana – Sydney, Australia

Landmark  EDUCATION book: 

Award-winning PARENTING book: 



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