Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – January 2014

Volume 14 Number 1


  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 




“Do good and you will feel good” is a more practical and effective approach than waiting to feel good before doing good.

This was is a special offer for a limited number of people and for a limited time to participate in a preview version of the “Discipline Without Stress ONLINE SEMINAR.”

Participants received two DVDs containing the 54 modules showing me presenting the “Discipline Without Stress Teaching Model.” You can see one of the modules.

The online seminar will be at  DisciplineOnline.com when it is completed.


The following is further confirmation that the Discipline Without Stress approach, which uses intrinsic (internal) motivation, is superior for promoting responsibility than using rewards for expected behavior.

“The important point is that rewards, like feedback, when used to convey appreciation for work well done, will tend to be experienced as INFORMATION and will maintain or enhance INTRINSIC motivation, but when rewards are used to motivate people, they will surely be experienced as CONTROLLING and will UNDERMINE intrinsic motivation.”

—”Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Human Behavior” by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan, p. 300


A prime goal of my approach is to increase positive self-talk—as indicated in the opening paragraph of my education book.

Researchers have acknowledged that in order to know yourself, you have to talk to yourself. They have studied children’s private speech for decades, but only recently have researchers focused on self-talk in adults. Inner speech is used for all sorts of things. We depend on it to solve problems, read and write, motivate ourselves, plan for the future, learn from our mistakes, learn language, and help regulate emotions.

Beyond helping people regulate their behavior in the present moment, inner speech is essential for learning from the past and planning for the future. By rehearsing and sometimes rewriting previous conversations, we can identify our errors and make sure not to repeat them.

Although talking to oneself is often advantageous, too much of the wrong kind of inner speech can backfire. Rumination, such as obsessively mulling over painful experiences, is both a symptom of and a risk factor for depression.

When depression tries to turn someone’s inner speech into irrational thoughts of hopelessness, such as “There’s nothing I can do about this,” one can fight back with self-talk that contradicts those negative thoughts with positive and empowering thoughts, such as “I have a choice as to how I respond to this.”

As I clearly describe in one of my “Discipline Online” modules (WELCOME section above), feelings always follow thinking. The way to change feelings is to change our thoughts.


I often write and speak about how one word can change feelings and actions. For example, self-talk of “I HAVE to attend this meeting” prompts negativity, whereas “I GET to attend” prompts a positive orientation.

Words are powerful. Here is an example of how a few words can change attitudes and behaviors.

A blind man in Glasgow sat on a mat with his sign, “I’m blind. Please help.” Now and then someone dropped a coin on the mat. A young woman approached, scratched out the words on the sign and scribbled something. After that, a great many passersbys dropped coins on his mat. The young woman returned. The blind man asked her what she did to his sign. She answered that she wrote the same message but with different words: “It’s a beautiful day, but I can’t see it.”

The scribbler knew that people connect with their emotions, not with their intellect.

In the online seminar referred to in the WELCOME section above, I show how important words, thoughts, and information received by our senses prompt feelings. All humans, regardless of age, have feelings and when teachers, parents, or supervisors do not consider other’s feelings when communicating, stress will be induced on the part of all involved. This is one of many reasons that in the video I use the word “Responsibilities” rather than “Rules.” Responsibilities prompt positive feelings and empower; rules do not.


Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) was created in 1983 by the Los Angeles Police Department. Despite the fanfare, data indicates that the program does little or nothing to combat substance use in youth.

D.A.R.E lacks some key elements. It typically lasts only months rather than years and affords students few opportunities to practice how to refuse offers of drugs.

Educational programs that involve minimal or no direct social interaction with other students are usually ineffective. Merely telling participants to “just say ‘No'” to drugs is unlikely to produce lasting effects because students get little practice saying “No” to other kids.

Implementing “Discipline without Stress” and “Parenting without Stress” teaches and encourages practice in this arena. The approaches clearly differentiate between cooperation which is healthy, and conformity which often prompts peer pressure to go along with inappropriate behaviors. Young people learn to articulate and practice the difference between cooperation and conformity when these programs are taught.


Many parents, like many teachers, rely on establishing and enforcing rules. There is a more effective approach as demonstrated in the video.


I have known about Dr. Marshall’s system for about 3 years. As a Texas Education Service Center Consultant at Region 18, I taught the concepts to classroom teachers all over our region in West Texas.

Many of the schools that I worked with tried to implement the system, but some failed due to a lack of leadership support. I have always believed that the campus principal must lead and teach the staff to work toward helping every student become self-disciplined, instead of relying upon ineffective methods and approaches used 20-30 years ago. With strong support from the principal and administrators, this system works.

—Pam Hart, Texas Leadership Charter Academy, Midland Campus NOTE: You can be the only teacher in your school using Discipline Without Stress. When you do, the atmosphere of the class changes. When the entire school uses the system, the culture of the school changes. (NOTE: Depending on your browser, if the video doesn’t play, click on it a second time.)


The EDUCATION book: 

“Discipline is not easy in our culture. Our Puritanical past has led to many wrong assumptions about how to channel behavior. In this book, Marvin Marshall shows us how to overcome these counterproductive patterns while promoting responsibility and growth in young people. It is an important work, and I highly recommend it.”
—Jim Cathcart, Author of “The Acorn Principle: Know Yourself, Grow Yourself”

The PARENTING book: 

“I appreciate the specific steps and suggestions. They are clear and easy to read and therefore easy to apply. I am excited about sharing this work with my adult children who are at the beginning stage of parenting. As a school administrator, mother of five, and grandmother of nine, I wish for all parents to have this book for helping children develop.”
—Connie Giles, Austin, Texas