Fundamental Truths about the Discipline Without Stress Approach

Over the years I’ve done much research into discipline, classroom management, and the education field in general. As such, I know of no other discipline program that is proactive, creates a DESIRE for change, and places total responsibility on the other person—rather than on the teacher or parent.

There are a few underlying, fundamental truths to my approach.

• A person can be controlled, but only temporarily, and no one can control how another person thinks or WANTS to behave.

• Although you can influence people, you cannot change them. People change themselves.
The least effective approach to influence a person is by using coercion.

• Obedience does not create desire.

• Two requirements are necessary for long-term change: (a) acknowledgment that a change is necessary and (b) ownership. Any IMPOSED punishment lacks the second requirement. This does not mean that expectations, standards, rules, and responsibilities are not necessary. Obviously, they are. But imposing the same punishment for all (one size fits all) (a) is not fair, (b) affects different people in different ways, and (c) is counterproductive to the objective of promoting long-term responsible behavior.

• Cognition and emotions cannot be separated. One affects the other. Anything imposed, especially if it is related to punishment, puts the receiver in a victimhood mode and prompts ill feelings toward the enforcer. Good relationships are essential to prompt positive change. People do good when they feel good. One does not ordinarily do good when feeling bad. This is a prime reason that traditional, coercive approaches are not successful and the recidivism rate is so high.

• The key to changing behavior is to project high expectations and then empower—rather than overpower. Young people need structure, even those who have rebelled against authority all their lives. Many other programs may work—as punishments may work—in the short term. However, these external and imposed approaches are not nearly as effective as internal and elicited approaches that CHANGE DESIRE so that young people WANT to be socially and individually responsible.