Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – September 2015

Volume 15 Number 9 September 2015
Newsletter #170 Archived


  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 



This newsletter has been distributed by a new system. Your comments for improvement are appreciated.


The Statue of Liberty on the East Coast (of the USA) needs to be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast —Victor Frankl (psychiatrist, Nazi death camp survivor, and author of “Man’s Search for Meaning”)

If you use Twitter, you may enjoy my daily thoughts at twitter.com/MarvMarshall (@MarvMarshall)

Also, you may be interested in my blog, which appear more often than this monthly newsletter 


Positivity (conscious optimism) promotes and induces responsibility in everyone–including children. A positive attitude, just like happiness, begins between the ears. Both are skills that anyone can develop.

In fact, the most important thing people can control is their state of mind. A state of mind is something that one undertakes. It cannot be purchased. It must be created.

Therefore, thinking and acting responsibly begins with how a person shapes thoughts and communicates them with others.

As leaders, teachers, and parents, we have an obligation to help others, especially the young, to shape and control their thoughts so that their impulses and tendency to blame and complain do not control them. When people become mindful of their thoughts, that is when they feel empowered to take responsibility for their decisions and actions.


Harold Kushner in his book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” writes that things do not happen to us for any good reason that would cause us to accept them willingly.

But we can give them meaning; we can use tragedies by imposing meaning on them. The question that we should be asking is not, “Why did this happen to me? What did I do to observe this?” These are really unanswerable and pointless questions. A better question would be,”Now that this has happened to me, what am I my going to do about it?”

Notice how this question relates to the three practices of positivity, choice, and reflection.

As an aside, you will find these three practices are referred to often–not to be redundant but because repetition is the mother of learning. Their frequent mention is to prompt readers to reflect and be reminded to use them. Implementing these three practices (skills) are critial for reducing stress and becoming more effective.


If you ask yourself how you know someone cares for you, one of your responses is likely to be that you know because the person listens to you.

Ask a husband about a good wife, and he is likely to say that he knows his wife cares for him because she listens to what he has to say. Ask a wife about a good husband, and she’ll respond that he listens to her.

When the parent says, “It’s about time you started listening to me,” the youngster may be thinking, “It’s about time you started listening to me.”

Even if we are saying something that is not really worth listening to, we still want someone to listen to us.

Ask a person in a poor relationship why the person feels the way he/she does, and that person will say that the other person “doesn’t care about me.”

Ask, “How do you know?” and more often than not the response will be, “He doesn’t listen to me.”

Caring and listening are prime sources of good relationships. They are so intertwined that if you experience one, you also experience the other.

How would you rate your listening skills? Are you displaying your skills to others?


An adult’s role, when working with the young, is to engineer learning. Consider the following.

The human brain has a built-in attention preference for certain stimuli, such as novelty and pleasure. We take advantage of the brain’s preference for novelty by eliciting curiosity, oddity, intrigue, suspense, anticipation, awe, confusion, surprise, and challenge.

We increase pleasure by creating states of anticipation, hope, security, fun, acceptance, success, and satisfaction.


Here is a question I often ask when speaking to someone over the telephone: “Do you have any children?” Whenever this question is answered in the affirmative, I follow up by asking, “Do you ever say, “No!”

Response: “All the time.”

I then suggest that rather than saying, “No!” which has such finality and is negative, just say, “Not yet.” These two words have the same effect as “No” but give hope and do not break relationships.

Every time the person thanks me, it offers an opportunity to suggest further assistance by linking to shop.


I recently heard someone refer to a “model” in order to have complex information made easy enough to be understood and remembered. With this in mind, I offer the following for my discipline system model: PPP

P= Procedures (rather than rules)

P= Practices: Positiviity, Choice, and Reflection

P= Proactivity (Rather than being reactive to misbehavior, be proactive by teaching the Raise Responsibility System so that the adult is in charge.)

The model in its complete one-page description can be viewed and downloaded


The following is from DisciplineOnline.com.

Great introduction module Dr. Marv- I lacked teaching procedures. Last year I did use procedures and it did wonders. There is certainly a divide between classroom management and discipline and I had the two intertwined. Now that they are divided, my classroom is a much stronger and better place!
—Brianne – Sommerdale, New Jersey

Additional Resources

Landmark EDUCATION book: 

Award-winning PARENTING book: