Here are four main differences between the Discipline without Stress Teaching Model and other approaches:
(1) The approach is proactive by teaching the Hierarchy of Social Development before problems occur. It implements Stephen Covey’s first habit of highly effective people. Other approaches are reactive in that the adult responds after disruptive behavior or discipline problems occur.
(2) Consequences are elicited, rather than imposed. Many approaches refer to “logical” or “natural” consequences. They are both are imposed. Discipline without Stress does not use them. Anything that is imposed lacks ownership—an essential characteristic for long-term change. Eliciting a consequence or a procedure is much more effective than any imposed discipline approach.
(3) Emphasis is on changing behavior, rather than on analyzing the causes of a discipline problem or attempting to figure a student’s goal or motivation. They are too subjective and unknowing. But more important, knowing the cause makes no difference as to the person’s future behavior.
William Glasser’s “Choice Theory” explains that all problems are present problems. For example, an abused person, because of an unhappy past, may be less capable but not incapable of dealing with the present. The past, be it abuse, neglect, or rejection, is not the problem. This means that inquiry into an earlier experience may be of interest but has little bearing on the resolution of a problem. Using brain terminology, this could be expressed in terms of neural connections that were formed by an earlier experience. To change thought or behavior, new connections need to be made. Studying existing connections would have little effect on changing them. The practical interpretation of this is that revisiting a painful experience can contribute little or nothing to what is needed now to resolve the problem.
(4) The term “needs” is rarely used because what we think of as “needs” are usually “wants.” In this regard, we agree with the late Albert Ellis, the developer of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.
The reason that Discipline without Stress can guarantee its success in handling any discipline problem is that it does not use any of the above-mentioned approaches.