Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – June 2011

Volume 11 Number 6


  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



“We are not domed to repeat the mistakes of the past, but we will if we don’t change the systems and behaviors that have created and sustained them.”

–Alan Weiss, “Our Emperors Have No Clothes” (p. 232)



If you would like to lend a hand in getting the message out to help others, here is an idea to consider.

Any subscriber who enjoyed my “Parenting Without Stress”
book and who posts a five star review of it on Amazon.com by July 1, 2011 will receive as a gift any e-book or electronic download from my products listed at http://marvinmarshall.com/shop.

Perhaps the following e-mail I recently received will assist in your participation:

“I decided to stop reading for a moment and drop you a
note of excitement about PARENTING WITHOUT STRESS. I
have read many books on parenting and tried to apply
different recommendations I found in other books. But
often I didn’t feel good about it.

“Reading your book felt so nice that I started applying
what I have read just from Chapter 1. I think the power
of your recommendations lies in the fact that it takes
into account the interests of a child as well and not
only those of the parent. And this is a key to success
in relationships.”

–Marina Riedi – Einsiedeln, Switzerland

To post your review, link to http://www.amazon.com and type “Marvin Marshall” in the BLANK box in the “Search”
area just to the left of the “GO” button.

When you see my products, link to the second item (hardcover parenting book), and scroll down to the five yellow stars and click on that link. You will see customer reviews that are currently posted. At the end of the posts, you’ll see a link that says to see all customer reviews. Click on that link and it will take you to a site that says “Create Your Own Review.” Click on that link. You’ll be asked to sign into your Amazon account (if you’re not already signed in).
Then just follow the prompts and type your review.

When the post is up, e-mail me at
mailto:marv@marvinmarshall.com with (1) your name (2) your post (3) the e-product you would like me to send you from http://marvinmarshall.com/shop, and (4) the e-mail address to which you would like your selection sent.


There is a relationship between gratefulness and responsibility.

You cannot be resentful and grateful at the same time.
You cannot be angry and grateful at the same time.
You cannot be perturbed and grateful at the same time.
You cannot be scared and grateful at the same time.

Gratitude seems to be one of those emotions which negates all other negative emotions.

So the way to protect yourself all day from negative emotions is simply by being grateful.

Interestingly, gratitude will be prompted when you reflect on your accomplishments, which are often responsibilities you have performed.


Sometimes the best way to help people is to stop helping them.

The intervention, “Well, what do you think about that?”
entices a solution to a challenge.

Mentors and coaches don’t help people by providing answers.
They help people by engaging them to come up with their own solutions.

A solution is–more likely than not–within the ability of the person being assisted. The best way to empower someone may just be to refuse to be a co-dependent.

An answer by someone else may gain a temporary adaptive action or compliance, but reflective questions are the source for commitment and long-term corrective action.


The following is from a post by Kerry:

In using the HIERARCHY OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, our goal in asking, “Do you want me to be a Level B teacher?” is not tied in any way to the happiness of the adult. We are not prompting the young person to choose a higher level in order to achieve more happiness for ourselves. The focus is on coaching–having the young person become AWARE of the types of relationships that are being created with others when choosing to act on an unacceptable level.

In using the hierarchy, time is invested in developing the concepts of how our chosen levels are reflected in our relationships with others. Not only are unacceptable levels (A and B) discussed in terms of relationships, but the higher levels (C and D) are discussed as well. The big picture is developed.

Sharing the hierarchy is a very real life lesson that allows a person to fully understand that poor relationships don’t just happen; they are CREATED over time by one’s actions.
Likewise, great relationships are also created. The skill is to refer to the hierarchy, which automatically prompts reflection.

Hand in hand with the understanding of the HIERARCHY OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT is CHOICE-RESPONSE THINKING. We choose the quality of our relationships with others (as well as
ourselves) by how we choose to respond to a situation we cannot change, something that stimulates us, and/or an impulse.

This is very empowering information. The process is not threatening. We are simply asking the young person to become more conscious about where their choices are leading in order to help them make better decisions.

More of Kerry’s posts are at http://disciplineanswers.com/


The weekly newspaper USA TODAY carried an interesting article about education on May 11, 2011. The article was entitled, “How to Reshape U.S. Education” and was written by Amy Chua, the author of “BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER”
and a law professor at Yale University.

The article highlighted the following: “Parents should insist that we combine Asia’s discipline with American creativity so that our children can excel in the global economy.”

As with the vast majority of articles, this one addresses “what” needs to be done but neglects to include any idea(s) of “how” to do it. The article does assert, however, that there is one critical skill where our (US) kids lag behind:
“learning how to learn.” This requires MOTIVATION, the essential learning characteristic.

Apathy toward putting forth effort to learn is rampant in schools today–especially in lower socioeconomic areas. In order to prompt these students to learn, the teacher must have positive relationships, create a climate where students feel that they will be safe psychologically as well as emotionally, and the teacher must be a “marketer” of information.

Apathy toward learning is reduced when the subject matter is of interest, when learners grapple with the topic (which automatically creates interest), and/or when the subject matter has meaning to them.


My youngest has lately been taking to hitting when he gets angry. What kind of procedure can I give him for that?

Make a drawing of a traffic signal, such as the one at http://marvinmarshall.com/shop/cards.html
and then teach and practice impulse control with the child seven (7) times over a period of three (3) weeks.

He came up with running to the refrigerator and playing with the magnetic ABC’s. It hasn’t worked out too well because he isn’t going to think of that when he gets mad – although his older siblings have told him that when he goes to play ABC’s at the heated moment he looks like he is going to hit someone. Do you have any suggestions for such a young age (2 years, 10 months)?

Rehearse the impulse control procedure EVERY time he does it.

I have a 6 and 5 year old who have started to challenge my wife and me but I think this will work very well for them.

will work for them if you start to SHARE and ASK REFLECTIVE QUESTIONS. Anytime you tell them to do something they will perceive that you are trying to control them. You don’t like to be controlled; neither does any one else–regardless of age.

I also have a 2 year 10 months old boy. He is a very spirited boy and has been by far our biggest challenge of our three kids. I assume I can use Positivity, Choice, and Reflection even at his age.


However, should I wait to use the hierarchy until he is three?

You can teach it now. Use simple terms like “O.k.” and “Not O.K.” Then follow up with asking him to identify something to replace the “”Not O.K.” behavior with with an “O.K.”

Are there other practices in the book that I should not use on that young of a person (besides the obvious – like writing out a conflict and what they will do to discontinue the problem in the future)?

Forget about writing. Continue asking reflective questions.

I used to tell my youngest that if he did so–and–so again, he was going to sit on the sofa or go to bed.

Telling prompts resistance.
You imposed the consequence. Instead, elicit it from your child.

Then I would ask him what will happen if he behaves badly again – to confirm that he knew the consequences. After reading your book, I have tried to elicit from him, but he seems to just go back to what I used to to – the couch or bed – so I’m not sure if he is too young for eliciting?

He is not. Keep asking the question. Make the question simple and use some of the reflective questions in the book.

Finally, if he is still too young, would you suggest another book for toddlers (and in case we have more kids in the future)?

You can threaten him with, “I’m counting to one, I’m counting to two, by the time you say “three” he will respond.

But then ask him if he wants to be threatened in the future.

Many similar examples and solutions can be found in the parenting book at http://marvinmarshall.com/shop.


On June 2, I had the privilege of presenting to the staff at Clark Montessori Junior and Senior High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I have long admired the Montessori approach and started the presentation with four fundamental characteristics that Discipline Without Stress and the Montessori approach have in common.

1) Children learn best through intrinsic motivation.
There are neither rewards nor punishments in true Montessori environments.

2) Competition hinders learning.
Students learn to monitor their own progress in order to recognize self-growth. This leads to personal satisfaction based on effort–instead of comparisons with what others may have accomplished.

3) Montessori develops self-discipline and independence.
Students in a Montessori environment learn to be responsible for their choices. They become truly self-disciplined with much less need for adult intervention.

4) Montessori is education for life.
The Montessori approach is designed for young people to develop fully as individuals–not just academically, but emotionally and psychologically as well.


If you know of any Montessori school, please send me their contact information so that I can share DISCIPLINE WITHOUT STRESS with them.


May 20, 2011

This is the conclusion of our first year using your program.
We all read the book last summer and had discussion sessions. We started off the year all on the same page.
There was some concern that being so polite and respectful to our children would not work since they were not used to being dealt with respectfully. We are a school filled with students at risk, 99% African American and 96% receive free or reduced school lunch.

We have been very impressed with the program. Every teacher has the chart on the wall and every teacher uses the same terms as far as classroom management. Teachers now discuss issues with students and office referrals are down over 50%.
Suspensions have also been reduced by approximately 25%.
The overall environment in the building has changed positively and we are now focused upon teaching and learning rather than managing disruptive behavior. Teacher morale is higher and students like being treated respectfully.

I have also noticed that staff interacts more positively with each other. No one is yelling at students anymore and staff conflicts seem to be fewer and less intense.

My staff and I are grateful that we learned about your program and continue to praise it and will continue to implement it in the years to come.

Richard Rubin, Principal
Hope Elementary Charter School
Downtown Raleigh, North Carolina