Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – June 2010

Volume 10 Number 6


  1. Welcome
  2. Promoting Responsibility
  3. Increasing Effectiveness
  4. Improving Relationships
  5. Promoting Learning
  6. Parenting
  7. Discipline without Stress (DWS)
  8. Testimonials and Research


“The educator must believe in the potential power of his pupil, and he must employ all his art in seeking to bring his pupil to experience this power.”
–Alfred Adler


My new book, “PARENTING WITHOUT STRESS: How to Raise Responsible Kids While Keeping a Life of Your Own” has been named the winner of three prestigious awards:
–The Eric Hoffer Book Award,
–The International Book Award, and
–The ForeWord Reviews Book Award.

Since Father’s Day is upon us, a special Father’s Day
25 per cent discount on the parenting book is being offered –UNTIL SUNDAY, JUNE 20.

The discount is open to all (including international) readers of this newsletter.

To receive the discount, link to
Then click on the top link. On this secure order form link, insert the word “dad” in the “Coupon code” on the left and lick on”Apply.”

You will find the book a wonderful and very practical read.


On Saturday, June 5, I had the pleasure of presenting at Manual Arts High School, an inner city school of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

I was very familiar with the community since I had served as a teacher, instructional coordinator, counselor, and athletic director at a neighboring high school.

I always enjoy working with teachers in urban settings since I had served in so many Los Angeles schools and consulted for three years with inner city schools in Harlem and in Upper Manhattan in New York City.

The main focus of this and all my presentations at schools is to increase student motivation for learning and for responsible behavior.

My full day presentation was at no charge to the school.
Neither was the 75-page Resource Guide and the free books each teacher received.

If you are a teacher in a U.S. school and would like to receive a free staff development package and free books for each teacher at your school, check out the application at http://www.disciplinewithoutstress.org/


What we consistently do (consistently behave) determines what we become. Towards this understanding, I share one of my favorite fairy tales.

There was an unscrupulous villain who fell in love with a lovely maiden. The maiden refused to marry the man declaring that he did not have a kind face. The man sought a mask maker who made a special mask and fitted it to the man’s face.

This time the man wooed the girl and won her. One day, years later, an old enemy sought out the man and, in the presence of the man’s wife, tore off the mask. But when the mask was removed, a kind face was revealed. The man had become what he had practiced day by day.

Practice every day being the person you would like to be, and you will become that person.


People are attracted to people with a happy, positive demeanor and repelled by people who are morose.

A simple way to demonstrate a positive demeanor is to smile.

Prove this to yourself by looking in the mirror while putting a smile on your face. Then say to yourself, “I’m so angry at you!”


Pre-teaching is often more effective and positive than re-teaching.

This approach requires a shift in thinking and some pre-planning, but it does not necessarily require any more time than would be spent to help a less capable student who has not learned.

We all know that some students require more instruction than others, so why not approach this challenge in a way that will better assist these students?

Instead of waiting until a student is struggling, plan to offer help ahead of time so that the less capable student will have a better chance of being successful at the same time as others.

For example, the NEXT day’s math lesson can be shared so that a parent or tutor can help by pre-teaching and practicing the concepts that will be introduced on the following day. The teacher can also have a short meeting with selected students to give them a “head start.”


Parents are the first teachers. Parents model.

Modeling is accomplished EXPLICITLY–directly by what is actually stated, as in having the young say “Thank you.”

Parents also model IMPLICITLY–indirectly, learned without intentions. The following examples from the parenting book demonstrate the point.

Tickets for a movie theater are more expensive for a thirteen-year-old than for a twelve-year-old. The parent wants to save money so the thirteen-year-old daughter is told to state her age as twelve. The EXPLICIT message is that saving money is desirable; however, the IMPLICIT message is that being dishonest is acceptable.

The teenager tells the parent, “I’m going out tonight; I may be late and I may drink at the party.” The parent says, “You’re grounded! I’m not going to let you go if you do that.” The EXPLICIT message to the offspring was very clear; yet, so was the reaction to the message: “I’m not going to tell my parents. Being candid and open doesn’t work.”

Here is another instance of the parent sending one message, but the interpretation or implicit message is quite different than what the parent indtended:

The eighteen-year-old calls her parent and says that she drank a little too much at the party and that she wants to be picked up. This is responsible thing to do. However, the parent becomes angry with the daughter. On the drive home the parent relentlessly chastises her daughter whose self- talk becomes, “I’m not going to tell my mother next time.”

Reflect on the implicit message your statements prompt.



Do you have any research that shows punishment is not an effective consequence for most student misbehavior?


Google your question and you will find much on the topic.

Punishment on the very young can be effective, especially if the youngster clearly understands the reason for it.

Recognize, however, that this approach is based on the idea that the person needs to be hurt in order to learn, to be harmed in order to improve.

My approach is that punishment is NOT THE MOST EFFECTIVE approach with young people of almost any age.

My aim is to foster responsibility, and it’s pretty clear that punishment does not promote this characteristic.

If the aim is to promote temporary obedience, punishment MAY work. However, if the aim is to promote responsibility, ELICITING A PROCEDURE OR A CONSEQUENCE IS FAR SUPERIOR.
The reason is simple. People don’t argue with their own decisions.


I heard about your book from a friend. She said her year has been very stressful and she was going home in tears everyday. Over a long weekend, she read your book and it has changed her life. She is stress-free from discipline and is loving teaching again. I hope to do the same!

Kelly Wyatt
Willis Point, Texas