Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – February 2013

Volume 13 Number 2


  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




Be supportive without judgment.
–Dave Morton

Upcoming Public Seminars: 

April 22 Phoenix, Arizona
April 23 Denver, Colorado
April 24 Billings, Montana
April 25 Salt Lake City, Utah
April 26 Portland, Oregon

Contact Bureau of Education & Research to receive a brochure and/or to register: 800.735.3503.


The following is from an e-mail I received regarding last months’s newsletter:

After reading “To accept yourself fully is to recognize that not everyone you meet will like you and that you will never be perfect,” I gave myself an assignment: Look forward to an encounter with that Disagreeable One in my day. Now I was ready with my changed attitude: I didn’t have to win that person over. I could shrug it off and not keep emotional baggage. It was liberating and allowed me to find other times for making a working job relationship. I discovered that I could accept the Disagreeable One on her own terms and separate from my own. This stuff works for adults, too!

The original is the second section in the January, 2013 edition. 


The application for any US school to receive the education book and resource guide at no charge has been simplified and made easier.


We live our lives using procedures.

Chances are that when you arise from bed you follow the same procedure every morning. If you have breakfast, you probably sit or stand at the same location.

If you brush your teeth, I would guess that you probably use the same procedure every time the brush enters your 

If you are male, chances are that you put your socks on in the same order and, similarly, your pants using the same leg first every time.

As you proceed through the day, notice that much of what you do is done nonconsciously. You just do it “automatically” without thinking about it.

With this in mind, realize that establishing a procedure can make you more efficient, as explained by the following:

She was a vibrant picture of health and an inspiring speaker. The audience was stunned to see a slide of her when she was morbidly obese. She had lost 125 pounds and spoke about how diet and exercise saved her life

The question was asked what she did when she wanted to go off her diet and when she didn’t feel like exercising.

She described her 15-Minute Rule. She explained that when she had a craving for something that she knew she shouldn’t eat, she told herself, “I CAN eat that, but I will wait 15 minutes.”

Invariably, something happened in those 15 minutes that got her mind off food. She would make a phone call, check her e-mail, write a note, or get involved in some activity. Sometimes, without getting involved in another activity, the craving went away on its own.

Whenever she didn’t want to work out, she conducted a little negotiation with herself. She told herself that she would work out for 15 minutes and then renegotiate. Ten percent of the time, she walked out of the gym after the 15 minutes. Ninety percent of the time, however, the 15 minutes of activity broke down her resistance and she continued her full work-out session.

So, for more responsible behavior, the next time you have a craving or are not doing something you know you should do, try the 15-Minute Rule.


A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question: “Half empty or half full?”

She fooled them all. “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile.

Answers ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. “

In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.

” She continued, “That’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden–holding stress longer and better each time.”

So, as early in the evening as you can, place all your burdens down in a lower kitchen cabinet so you won’t carry them through the evening and into the night. If you would like, pick them up the next morning when you are refreshed.


In an interview with the actor Al Pacino (Newsweek, October 2012) the author asked him if he has ever been in therapy.

“Oh yeah,” he says. “I’ve done therapy a long time. I like it.”

Then he tells a joke: A woman has been with the same therapist for ten years. On her last day, she tells her therapist how much he has transformed her life, how complete he has made her feel. “But in all these years,” she says, “You have not said one word. Please doctor, tell me something. Just one word.”

The doctor looks at her. “No hablo ingles,” he says.

Pacino laughs richly. “There’s something to say about a craft like that,” he tells the interviewer.

The talking could have been directed to a wall. 

In relationships, it may be smarter to talk to a wall–and thereby reflect–before we say what is on our mind to another person who would actually react to what we say.


It is challenging for many people to separate themselves from what others may think about them. This is especially the case when it comes to learning.

Generally, people are not embarrassed to make mistakes when learning a musical instrument. We don’t give up when we play a wrong note on the piano–or in my case the Great Highland Bagpipes.

The same holds true in athletics. We don’t stop playing baseball when we strike out at bat, and we don’t stop shooting basketballs at the hoop when we miss it.

When it comes to mental learning, in contrast to kinesthetic or psychomotor learning, why is it that so many people would rather not engage in the process than make a mistake and become embarrassed?

A section in my education book is devoted to the idea of perfection and learning. The point is that you cannot learn and be perfect at the same time. Unfortunately, many aim at perfection–instead of continual improvement–and become embarrassed when they make mistakes.

A major stumbling block in learning is the idea of embarrassment. If you are afraid to make mistakes or be embarrassed, don’t expect significant improvement.


The following is from Kerry of British Columbia.

I was talking with a friend who told me a story she knew would interest me. She was chatting with a man who coaches sports teams of 8 and 9-year-olds. He mentioned that he had a lot of difficulty this year in getting the kids to work together as a team.

My friend, an experienced primary teacher, started to offer some suggestions that she had found successful for developing an atmosphere of teamwork in her classroom, but he quickly stopped her.

“Oh, you don’t understand,” he said. “It’s not the kids who are the problem; it’s the parents! The parents have all told their kids that they would get money for every goal they score. The kids are so intent on getting a point ON THEIR OWN that I can’t get them to pass to each other; it doesn’t matter what I do. It’s so bad I even had to hold a special meeting to say to the parents, ‘Stop paying your kids, so I can create a team!'”

Apparently, it’s not just teachers using Discipline Without Stress(DWS) who see the negative impact of rewarding; coaches too are having their share of problems!

Rewards change motivation. It’s as simple as that!


The following is from an e-mail.

“I have your book and feel it has validated my beliefs on how to treat children but couldn’t really verbalize it.”

The only thing you need to verbalize are the four levels.

“However, I do have one question regarding the requirement for the child to choose their own consequence for misbehaviour. What if children choose something as a consequence because it is in their mind a way of getting out of trouble?”

Rather than focusing on someone’s motivation (which is always guesswork), focus on choosing a procedure or consequence that will help the child NOT to repeat the unacceptable behavior.

“If a child violates another person’s right, it seems fair that the person whose rights have been violated would have a say in whether to think the self-imposed consequence is a fair one.”

Fine! Involve the other child with the idea of helping, not hurting, the aggressor who is a victim of impulses. If punishment is involved, ELICIT it—rather than impose it.

“I feel as though a self-imposed consequence is a way out for the person in the wrong.”

Isn’t the purpose to prevent it from occurring again and help the child who has poor impulse control? If you do not believe the consequence or procedure would prevent future incidents, continue to ask, “What else?” “What else?” “What else?” until what is chosen is satisfactory to all parties.

“Could you please advise me if what I am thinking is correct or not.”

Follow the above suggesirons. However, if you want to understand your own mindset more fully, consider learning about Theory Y and Theory X as described in the book.



The affective or behavioral side of any classroom or school is ever present. I’ve been in education for 32 years and in the charter school world for 7 years and I’ve found your work to be excellent.

Richard Shepler, Director
Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School Director


The PARENTING book: 

Powerful in its simplicity, Marshall’s approach has the ability to transform relationships and help children see that responsible choices are the key to getting what they want out of life.

Sonya Overman
Goshen, Indiana