Positive Discipline vs. Discipline Without Stress

Dear Marv:

Briefly, what would be the key similarities and differences between your Discipline without Stress  and the Positive Discipline method promoted by Jane Nelson?

Thank you, Joanie,


Hi Joanie,

Although Jane and I have similar goals in that we both want to promote responsibility and reduce discipline problems, our approaches are significantly different.

Here are a few:

DWS does NOT award young people for being responsible. DWS expects responsible behavior.

DWS is totally noncoercive—although not permissive.

DWS does not use external approaches. DWS differentiates between offering bribes before doing something and acknowledgments AFTER doing it.

DWS has no interest in one’s past history or environment; it is only interested in present behavior.

DWS emphasizes the importance of teaching procedures rather than relying on rules. See Part I of the teaching model.

DWS can be summarized one one page for easy reference. See the above link.

DWS emphasizes the difference between “internal” and “external” motivation. Learning the difference between the two changes mindsets. It promotes responsible behavior, effort in learning, self-discipline, and empowers young people to do what is right for themselves and for others.

DWS prompts increased effort in learning as indicated in Part IV of the teaching model.

DWS promotes three principals to practice that improves both personal life and professional life. These are described in Part II of the teaching model.

DWS teaches impulse control.

DWS shows young people how not to be victims.

DWS shows young people how to resist bullying.

DWS show how to reduce apathy in learning and promote a desire to put fourth effort in learning. See teaching model.

Hope these help.

  1. You obviously are not familiar with Positive Discipline. Perhaps you should educate yourself before writing an article. http://www.positivediscipline.com/what-is-positive-discipline.html

    • I am very familiar with Positive Discipline but find it not productive to promote responsibility. Bribing young people by using rewards and imposing “natural” or “logical” consequences–two counterproductive techniques used in Positive Discipline–use an external external motivational approach and aim at obedience. Obedience does not create desire to behave responsibly; instead it promotes a desire to get the reward or eliminate the threat of punishments. The old aphorism is still true: Investigate first, then evaluate. You will learn a great deal by spending time on marvinmarshall.com.