Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – August 2012

Volume 12 Number 8


  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



If you can give your son or daughter only one gift, let it be enthusiasm.
–Bruce Barton


Disciplining and parenting would be easy if everyone behaved and acted the exact same way. But that’s not the case in families, schools, or even life in general. No wonder so many companies in various industries use behavior assessments to improve interpersonal relations between employees, customers, management, and other types of interactions.

Now there’s a way that you can gain new insight into behavioral styles and receive customized tips on how to use the knowledge to more successfully interact with your children, students, family–really anyone.

I know from firsthand experience that this information really works. After discovering that my own styles lay in the “thinker” and “doer” areas and my daughter’s are in the “feeler” and “relater” areas, I was able to modify how I communicated with her. The result? I significantly increased my relationship with her and became a much more enjoyable and effective parent. A bonus was that our stress levels dropped dramatically.

An added benefit to the assessment is that it allows as many people as you like (children, associates, relatives) to take the assessment on how they perceive you–AT NO EXTRA CHARGE.

If you’re ready to become more effective in your communications and improve your relationships for a great return on investment at a very nominal fee.


People can operate more responsibly if they have a strategy.

Ask young people the following question: “If you wanted to be fully responsible right now, what would you be doing?”

In most cases, the answer will be readily apparent. By asking this question, the young person is prompted to think in self-empowering ways and is motivated to act on the response.

Another strategy is to use sentence-completion exercises.
For example, just for a week begin the day by thinking of endings to each of the following sentences:

  • If I operate 5% more responsibly at home, I will….
  • If I accept responsibility for my happiness, I will….

Young people find that this exercise prompts the mind toward more responsible behaviors.

Quoted from: Tips For Promoting Responsibility


Effective multitasking is a myth. This is the reason that I continually refer to this activity as “switch-tasking. The belief that smart phones, e-readers, and reading news texts while watching TV can somehow allow us to concentrate on several things at once is simply not valid. (Scientific American Mind – March/April 2012)

Today it is well accepted that attention is limited in capacity. The findings are clear: Our performance deteriorates drastically when we attempt to focus on more than one task at a time.

Traffic intersection violations are potentially hazardous events. There are a number of cases where a driver talking on a cell phone failed to notice a red traffic light and proceeded through the intersection causing an accident that resulted in serious injuries or fatalities. Understanding when we can and cannot multitask is not just an academic exercise. In driving it can be a matter of life and death.

The brain does not prioritize information by its importance when deciding what is “lost” while the driver is on the phone. Lapses of attention essentially render drivers partially blind to details directly in their gaze.

Trying to do several things at once actually diminishes your skills.

Studies suggested that people who were high multitaskers had lower working memory capacity, were more impulsive and sensation-seeking, and tended to rate their own ability to multitask as higher than average. Interestingly, their perceived ability and actual ability to multitask were inversely related. It was suggested that overconfidence, rather than skill, drives the proliferation of multitasking.

The study concluded that the vast majority of us cannot multitask without significant costs.


Here are two good words to close a conflict. First, work out the resolution (solving circles) and then say, “Fresh Start.”

It clears the air.


A question was asked of me about students in high school meeting a “wall.” The person writing to me stated, “On the surface, and without the benefit of knowing the author’s definition of this ‘wall,’ would you agree with this situation regarding high school students today?”

I responded:

Yes. I have witnessed this from my experiences as a high school teacher, high school counselor, high school assistant principal, and high school principal.

As youngsters move up to higher grades, less emphasis is placed on learning skills and collaboration and more is placed on competition–reflected both in how teachers ask questions and the emphasis on grades. For example, every time a teacher asks a question and hands are raised to answer, students are competing against each other for the teacher’s attention. Collaboration, as I show in my book, is a much more effective approach for improving learning.

Also, in the last few decades, emphasis on those factors aimed at self-improvement (as noted by Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin) have rarely been emphasized in meaningful ways. Generally, posters do not teach. Of course there are some exceptions. In the corner of my high school campus was a sign that was there all through my three
years: “Achieve the Honorable.” That sign is no longer in front of Hollywood High School.

Today’s kids think they have good character if they help pick up trash and are environmentally aware–even though they may show little respect to their own parents.

The reason that I use “Level D” Democracy in the Hierarchy of Social Development is that democracy and responsibility (taking initiative to do the right thing) are inseparable.

So, I think that the emphasis on competition to youth who never find themselves in the winner’s circle when they compete and the emphasis on rights over responsibilities are two reasons that high school students hit the “wall.”


I received the following from a parent:

Thank you for writing the book. We are and will continue to recommend it to other people. (The book referred to is

I wonder, would you please reply/advise me here. My 15 yr old spends several hours on the computer and she does not part with her phone. She does activities and is a good student, but every free moment she has is spent on Facebook or texting.

The network she is on allows for free texts to certain numbers. WI-FI is free so she has Internet access on her phone. She feels that if she has done her chores, then she can spend her free time any way she likes (especially as it is summer holiday now).

How do I offer choice or motivate her to limit her time on the computer to 2 hours a day or whatever? How do I get her to want to put her phone down? I used my authority and demanded that she obeys me, but that isn’t what I want for me or her any more. I want her to understand and manage herself. Help please.


Following was my response:

Any way you look at it, spending time on some mechanical device is a lone activity and deprives people of other opportunities.

After she reads the blog post, have a conversation with her.
Let her know that you understand at this age her friends (real or virtual) are the most important thing in her life.
However, being addicted to anything is unhealthy, and, as a mother, you are responsible for her becoming a healthy, responsible person.

The problem today is that she is on summer vacation and has lots of free time. Even so, here is the procedure: Ask her how much time she could limit herself to technology in order to live a healthy life style that includes proper diet, enough sleep, and exercise. The body was made for movement.
Besides, young people need to have live interactions with other people to observe expressions, improve oral and aural communications, and generally to improve social skills.

The point is for you to ELICIT from her a time limit that you can both agree on. If she comes up with a time limit that is not satisfactory to both of you, ask, “What else?”
again and again until you both come to an agreement.

During the summer months, be flexible–up to four hours; two hours during school days.

If in the future she does not abide by the decision, AT THAT TIME elicit a consequence or procedure from her. Appeal to her by saying that, with all you have provided and given her, you also need some satisfaction for your efforts. Let her know that when she does not consider how you feel, she is operating on Level A narcissism–only considering her own feelings. That’s what it is like to act on Level A.

You may want to consider investing a few dollars for Children Of The Rainbow School, have her read it. Understanding the difference between internal and external motivation can really help her develop self-discipline and moderation in all things, a key factor for a successful life.




Does your book have any lesson plans for teaching your program to high school students?

K. Scott


The entire book is about “how to.” It has specific suggestions for teaching procedures (the essence of successful classroom management). It provides three effective principles to practice. It shows how to teach the Hierarchy of Social Development, and shows how to use the hierarchy to reduce student apathy toward learning.

When I was working with schools in Harlem and Upper Manhattan in New York City, I knew of one school that was using the book as a text.

The concepts in the chapters can be used with students of any age. As a former high school teacher, I would often present concepts and then have students reflect on the them.
Discussions followed. Example: What are some of the things you may say fairly often that are perceived by others as being negative? Write three and then share. Then I had them communicate that same message by stating the same communicatons in positive ways.


The EDUCATION book: 

Two years ago our school implemented the “Discipline Without Stress Teaching Model” and it has been such a wonderful success. Our staff is empowered and much more positive and less judgmental when dealing with undesirable behavior, and the students have really risen to the occasion as well.

Sarah Innerst-Peterson
Montclair, CA


The PARENTING book: 

Your parenting book gives the antidote to so many challenges. The strategies provide parents and grandparents help to work smarter and more effectively.

Paul Wislocki
Middlebury, Connecticut


The following is from a recent SEMINAR evaluation:

This presentation was excellent. I will definitely implement the system in my classroom. The speaker has inspired me. I am motivated to be a better teacher.

Kathy Kitipitay
St. Louis, MO