Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – January 2015

Volume 15 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 




 The quality of your self-talk dictates the quality of your life because whatever you feed yourself is the source of your growth.

Janus, is the double face from which the month of January derives its name. One face looks backward and the other forward. Janus presided over the beginning and ending of conflict, and hence war and peace—the end and the beginning. 

Janus frequently symbolized change and transitions such as the progress of the future from the past, from one condition to another, from one vision to another, from young people’s growth to adulthood. Janus represented time because he could see into the past with one face and into the future with the other.

May this month and year bring you wisdom from your experiences, health, and joy.

On January 7, just a few days ago, I received a copy of an editorial letter directed to an education committee. I share it with you to add to my criticism of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) from a real life experience. The letter also contains a reference about people whose theories I implement. The letter is reprinted below with the author’s permission.

“As a former public school board member in Warren Township and a founder of a charter school in Irvington, I heard many suspension and expulsion cases over the years and each one broke my heart.

“Warren spent a good portion of their federal race to the top grant to have IU develop a PBIS program that, once implemented, was completely ridiculed by the students

“There is so much negative available information about PBIS that I won’t spend time here recapping. However, I would like to suggest that your Education Committee take a look at a consultant whose program I would completely endorse.

“I found Dr. Marvin Marshall years ago while researching the work of Dr. William Glasser and Dr. W. Edwards Deming. While both Glasser and Deming have passed away, Marvin Marshall continues to apply their methods in coaching schools and teachers in how to manage students without the coercion of programs like PBIS.

“His website is MarvinMarshall.com/ and I have copied him on this note so you will have his email address to pass along to the Education Committee.”


Todd A. Durnil, MBA
Independent Management Consultant


 One of the most important principles we can teach children is that effective and responsible people persist in their endeavors; they don’t give up easily. In fact, a major quality that classifies people as successful is that they stick to a task.

What is it that enables certain people to persevere? They have a repertoire. They create many different ways to solve a problem.

Why is this important? Because if people have only one way to solve a problem and if they try it and it doesn’t work, they will have a tendency to give up.

People who persist, however, will try one plan, and if that approach doesn’t work, they go to another plan. If that plan doesn’t work, they create another. . . and then another. . . and they continue to search until they are satisfied.

Having a repertoire of problem-solving processes is what allows and encourages persistence. The concept of persisting or persevering has to do with knowing how to behave when you DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER.

In school, we are accustomed to receiving test results with a score assigned. The score represents the number of answers we know. However, the critical point in LIFE IS NOT THE NUMBER OF CORRECT ANSWERS WE KNOW BUT RATHER HOW WE BEHAVE WHEN WE DON’T KNOW.

Most of the problems we face in life have no easy answers. When confronted with a dilemma, an enigma, or a problem that is ambiguous, do we think of alternatives to meet the challenge or do we say to ourself, “I can’t do this,” and then give up?

Perseverance can be developed with positive self-talk, realizing that we always have the choice to give up or not to give up, and by developing a procedure before the urge to give up can overwhelm us.


In a Sherlock Holmes episode, Mr. Holmes used his powers of observation to retrieve a stolen letter after two exhaustive police searches had failed.

The mistake of the police lay in hunting for intricate hideouts: secret drawers, hollow table legs, the insides of cushions. When the searches bore no fruit, the officers assumed that the letter must not be on the premises.

The police had missed the letter not because it was hidden too well but because it was lying in plain sight. Our visual systems are directed by our expectations and assumptions. Assumptions can hamper our effectiveness. 


 I was recently in a conversation with a man who informed me that he would be married in a few days and asked if I had any suggestions.

Not wanting to overwhelm him, I gave him just two:

1. You may find yourself going to bed in a bad move, but never go to SLEEP angry. ALWAYS talk to your mate to clarify.

2. Aim for clarification, not influence. Men and women generally perceive, think, and reason differently. So, let me emphasize, do not aim for influence; aim for clarity. The more each of you understands the other person–rather than trying to convince the other person–the better your relationships will be. To state the point differently, the most effective approach for disagreeing agreeably is to understand each other, rather than attempt to influence each other.


 I received the following note last week that referred to a a”paradigm shift” and could serve as a New Year’s Resolution for adults working with young people:

“A larger percent of students are pushing the boundaries of behaviors, and teachers are becoming more and more overwhelmed and demoralized. The world language classroom is very interactive and can lend itself to disorder. There is a paradigm shift that must take place. The teacher’s saying, “I am in control, obey me,” must be changed to, “I WILL HELP YOU LEARN SELF-DISCIPLINE AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT.”

Nancy Valdés, M.Ed.
Department Chair, World Languages
Bishop Snyder High – Jacksonville, Florida


 It’s not only what you say–but what you don’t say.

Words can be extremely powerful and influential. Every word spoken to a child carries with it an underlying message about the child and the child’s relationship to the world.

Once the child internalizes a message, it becomes a belief that can affect many aspects of the child’s life.

Even if the youngster is not conscious of the belief, it will nevertheless influence future expectations and experiences. For this reason, use positive and affirmative language when speaking to children. It will empower them and help them foster self-love and positive self-esteem.

In short, rather than thinking of your power to control, think of your power to enable.


 I received the following questions in anticipation of a January 8, 2015 presentation. My succinct responses regarding what I will share follow each question.

(NOTE: All of my responses are in CAPITALS and are searchable in the white search bar at http://marvinmarshall.com/)

1. How do I help students to have internal motivation towards learning and behaviour? HIERARCHY OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CHILDREN OF THE RAINBOW SCHOOL

2. How do I balance a class that has some students who are far advanced than the others and some students who are far behind? PEER TUTORING (Search in google)

3. How do I rebuild a student’s confidence in learning? POSITIVITY, CHOICE, AND REFLECTION (QUESTIONS ASKED)

4. How do I enhance a student’s ability to have self-control and focus on learning? IMPULSE CONTROL AND REDIRECTION

5. How do I make learning fun for the students? CLASSROOM MEETINGS AND TEACHER CREATIVITY

6. How do I make teaching more enjoyable and meaningful for the teachers? TEACH WITH A MINDSET OF HELPING AND INFLUENCING, RATHER THAN CONFRONTATION AND OBEDIENCE. (Search under “mindset.”)


“Since using your school discipline system, no one is yelling at students anymore, staff conflicts are fewer, and we are now focused on teaching and learning rather than managing disruptive behavior.”
–Richard Rubin, Principal – Raleigh, North Carolina

Landmark  EDUCATION book: 

Award-winning PARENTING book: