Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – February 2014

Volume 14 Number 2


  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 





Discipline, n. The thing we lack when we need it the most.

Dedicated to Philip Seymour Hoffman, the talented actor and Academy Award winner who passed on at the age of 46 from a drug overdose.

The Discipline Without Stress charity is beimg updated. Any school in the USA can receive free education books along with other materials by completing the application.

The only requirement is for the Phi Delta Kappan article to be distributed to the staff so that even those who choose not to implement the system will be aware of the Discipline Without Stress theory and approach.

The Bureau of Education and Research (BER) will be sponsoring my presentation 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)
BER contact: 1.800.735.3503 M-F 6 am-6 pm Pacific Time. You can ask to be on their mailing list. The seminar is entitled, “Powerful Strategies for Reducing Classroom Behavior Problems: Discipline Strategies That Work” or refer to code: DGM 4S1.


I received the following e-mail about quantifying improvement in learning:

“I took your seminar last spring and have implemented the program and love it. I have a question about quantifying classroom improvement. With current teacher assessments, we are required to document actual ‘Data’ that proves how the program has improved classroom behavior and learning performance. Any ideas?”

When I called the teacher, he informed me that he had been in the business world for 20 years, that he wants to establish good relationships with his students, and does not want to put students’ names on the board. HE TEACHES KINDERGARTEN.

I spent some time with the teacher explaining how counterproductive it is to put kids’ names on the board for derision and how misguided the administrator’s assumption is that learning and behavior must be quantified.

Try quantifying relationships, love, or respect. As W. Edwards Deming—the man who brought quality to the workplace—said, “The most important things in life cannot be quantified or measured.”

In the US, educational and governmental officials have tried to force the art and skill of teaching into a science by attempting to quantify behavior and learning. In the process, this most important of professions has become calamitous for both teachers and students.

NOTE: Do not confuse measurement with accountability.


To have students become more responsible about the topic of bullying, the teacher gave students an exercise to perform.

The students took a piece of paper, crumpled it up, and stomped on it. They then unfolded the paper, smoothed it out, and observed the scarred and dirty results from their efforts.

Next, the students looked at the paper and told it that they were sorry.

Even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, the teacher had them notice all the scars that were left behind. The point was that the scars would never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix them.

The lesson taught was that when a child bullies another person, the bully may apologize but the scars remain.

If you are a parent or a teacher, share this simple lesson.


The February 3, 2014 edition of TIME MAGAZINE had on its cover the title of its featured article: “The Mindful Revolution: The science of finding focus in a stressed-out, multitasking culture.”

The article suggested that the way to deal with stress is to use mental training techniques, specifically to give your attention fully to what you do. For example, the article suggests to focus carefully at a raisin and you will see things you had never noticed before becuse the raisen occupies your full attention.

By being mindful you will discover what researchers have proved, namely that multitasking leads to overall lower productivity. Students and workers who constantly and rapidly switch between tasks have less ability to filter out irrelevant information, and they make more mistakes.

Educators are turning to mindfulness with increasing frequency since digital technology is splitting kids’ attention spans.

If you implement the third practice of Discipline Without Stress–REFLECTION–on a regular basis, you will find yourself being mindful and increasing your effectiveness.


My mother often told me that if I can’t say something nice about a person, then don’t say anything at all.

This is great advice, not only for your communications with others but also with yourself. In other words, if you can’t say (or think) something nice about yourself, then don’t say (or think) anything at all–unless you can exert discipline to turn it around to positive self-talk.

The practice of positivity–with others and yourself–is so important that it’s the first practice of Discipline Without Stress. The opposite of positivity, of course, is negativity. In building relationships with anyone, negativity is the biggest enemy.

I am reading about the life of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan. The author pointed out that this president brought two characteristics to his presidency: patriotism and positivity. Whether or not you agreed with him, people liked him because of this latter characteristic.

With this in mind, don’t allow negative ideas that pop into your mind to direct your thoughts. Be mindful and use discipline to dismiss them or turn them into a learning lesson. Don’t ingest negativism from those with whom you work, your friends, or your associates. When you see or hear negativity, leave it, or ask yourself, “How can I turn that negative thought around so that it will not affect me in a negative way—or what can I learn form it?”


I received the following:
“I am a counselor and used the Rainbow School book today with a group of students for 2nd grade classroom guidance. I read each story to the class and then asked them to give adjectives that started with the appropriate letter to describe the four ideas in the story–before I read the paragraph which used the Hierarchy of Social Development language.

“The students loved it because it made a game out of guessing what the next letter was going to stand for. After each story and their suggestions, I showed them the language in the story. After the lesson the teacher said, ‘That was a wonderful book.’ “

What I really like about having the book, as a school counselor, is that by reading a story with the students while the teacher is in the room, I can share another way to think about discipline with the adults in the building.”

The counselor then related an incident confusing Level C with Level B—referring to both of them as levels of behavior.

I told the counselor that her dilemma with the levels will be a constant challenge until the levels are used as designed: the lower unacceptable levels refer to BEHAVIOR while both the upper acceptable levels refer to MOTIVATION.

Read about the $9.99 printable e-book  “Children of the Rainbow School.” 


My name is Filip, I live in Poland, and I need your help. Soon in my town will be a debate which covers the topic “parenting without stress” is the best way of parenting. I want to gather some data. So if I can, I want to ask a few questions. What are strong sides of parenting without stress?

-No stress on the part of the child or parent
-Improved relationships -Young people mature faster
-Young people become more responsible
-Parents become more effective
-Parents increase their joy of parenting

I would be really grateful just for a short description of this parenting model and what are bad sides?

View the parenting model.
There are no bad sides, but the approach requires parents to speak to their children in positive rather than in negative terms, to reduce coercion by offering choices, and to learn the skill of asking reflective questions so young people will think through their decisions.


The following is from “STUDENT SELF-DISCIPLINE IN THE CLASSROOM AND BEYOND” by Dr. Patricia McCormick, published by the National Catholic Education Association, Washington, DC., pp.12-13.

St. Joseph School in Auburn, California initiated the schoolwide program and reported that it achieves the goals the faculty wanted: help students assume responsibility for their actions without the use of either reward or punishment.

The principal reported that to simply identify the level (A,B,C, or D) was enough to drive the point hone, re-focus, and re-direct an inappropriate behavior. She reported great improvement, especially in the seventh and eighth grades.

She said the approach acknowledges life-giving choices–not as a reward but as INSTRUCTION. The principal reported an example of a second-grade student. Robert was serving detention. His teacher later told him that detention was over and gave him permission to leave the room. Without being told, Robert put his chair on top of his desk. The teacher commented to Robert that he put his chair up without being told and asked the level associated with it. With a look of puzzlement, Robert seemed to freeze in space; then his eyes widened as he slowly raised his face toward the teacher and with a tone of astonishment responded,”C”? His teacher said, “Yes Robert. That was the cooperation level. Thank you very much.”

The next day Robert was very active trying to demonstrate cooperation. Identifying positive behavior to a child and expressing respect or appreciation tells the child he is competent to choose and to do good. In effect, he became self-motivating.

Sister Pat can be reached at
http://www.ParentTeacherSupport.org or
mailtbo: DrPatMcCormack@aol.com


The following is from a testimonial:

“I was thrilled to be introduced to the system by Kerry Weisner (co-author of the Phi Delta Kappan article mentioned in the WELCOME section above), and I continue to be amazed by her grasp of the nuances and details of the Raise Responsibility System. I truly believe this system is perhaps the best way to improve relationships.

“I endeavor to make my class a happy and fun place in which to learn, so I do not use stickers or bribes anymore. It is so liberating to have high expectations without stickers or punishments.”

—Tanis Carter, Author of “CHILDREN OF RAINBOW SCHOOL”

NOTE: You can see Kerry’s categorized blogs at http://marvinmarshall.com/discipline-answers/

The EDUCATION book: 

“This book has great payoffs. It shows how to raise responsibility, a basic desire and need of our society. The quality of family life and school life will improve as the principles of this book are put into practice. School and workplace leaders will make many applications to management practices as well.”
—Steve Barkley, Executive Vice-President, Performance Learning Systems

(Steve and I will be speaking to Swiss teachers at their conference in Basel, Switzerland, next month.)

The PARENTING book: 

“The book gives specific examples of how to help children become more responsible. It is a great asset for parents of any age child.”
—Diane LaGrone, Austin, Texas