Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – October 2011

Volume 11 Number 10


  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



Conflict is a by-product of coercion.

–Dr. James Sutton (page 85) from his just-published book “The Changing Behavior Book: A Fresh approach to the Difficult Child” http://www.thechangingbehaviorbook.com/
(800.659.6628 with a special discount for the @23.95 book)


NOTE: Due to international travels, the NOVEMBER issue of the newsletter will be distributed on the third Saturday, rather than on the usual second Saturday of the month.


To assist teachers in having a more successful school year, the hardcover landmark book, “DISCIPLINE WITHOUT STRESS, PUNSIHMIMEST, OR REWAARDS – How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility & Learning” is being offerred this month at a 50% discount ($20 vs. $39.95).

You can read about the book at

If you are interested in having the book at your fingertips for inspiration and reflection, take advantage of this special offer. Link to http://marvinmarshall.com/shop and scroll down to this book. Click on “Add to cart” and enter coupon code “2nd-Ed” to get your discount.

There is no limit on the number of discounted copies anyone can purchase but the orders must shipped to one address.


Many teachers and parents reward young people for appropriate behavior.

This is a behavior modification approach to mold desirable behavior directly–without rooting it in ethical behavior, viz., right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust, moral or immoral. This approach operates at the lowest level of moral judgment, which is that behavior is good because it is rewarded.

On October 2, I exhibited at a children’s book fair. I wish that I would have kept score of the number of parents who had used this manipulative approach when their children were young and who related to me the difficulties the practice created when their children grew older.

Rewarding expected appropriate behavior inevitably leads to selfish behavior. It prompts a mindset of “What’s in for it for me?”–without any consideration for others or for their long-term negative effects.

A major reason that I continue to publish this newsletter is to share with teachers and parents a more effective approach for promoting responsibility, which is the foundational characteristic of our society.


The September/October issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND reported on a new study (pp. 31-35) suggesting there are preventive, proactive approaches for reducing stress. The article suggests that the general public’s stress management IQ is painfully low.

The article contained a cute quote: “Desserts” spelled backward is “stressed.” This refers to the idea that overdoing anything can prompt stress.

Some experts suggest that a little stress is good, but high levels of stress are harmful to most people, adversely affecting health, mood, and productivity. Some people perform and feel better when faced with moderate levels of stress. And some people are able to perform well under highly stressful conditions (Olympic athletes). However, it is also possible to perform well when relaxed (masters of kung fu). In my opinion, that should be the goal: a life that is productive but also virtually stress-free.

A traffic jam can prompt feelings of stress one day but not the next. The article indicates that this is good news because it suggests that with the right training and preparation, we are be able to face any stressor with equanimity.

Although we receive intensive formal training in writing and math, for example, learning how to manage stress is left entirely to chance. Many people, overwhelmed by bills and other challenges, resort to destructive ways of coping– drugs and alcohol being the most common. The article indicates that research conducted over the past few decades suggests that there are at least three broad, trainable skill sets or “competencies” people can use to manage stress
nondestructively: (1) reducing or eliminating the sources of stress, (2) practicing techniques such as breathing exercises or meditation, and (3) thought management.

Stress management is both trainable and beneficial. This insight leaves us with a challenge: Learn techniques for managing stress AND to so educate our children.

The reason that my books, DISCIPLINE WITHOUT STRESS and PARENTING WITHOUT STRESS, are so named is that they teach three practices of thought management–which both manage and prevent stress.


One of the great keys to happiness and improved relationships is to say, “You were right; I was wrong.”

This statement is far more effective than just saying, “I’m sorry.”

It may be difficult to actually admit being wrong, but when you do, you will be amazed at the positive effect it has–not only on the other person, but also on you.

Consider this a challenge.


A simple approach to use at the end of every lesson is TIMED-PAIR-SHARE. Everyone participates when using the approach. Even a shy person will relate with one other person. You receive 100 per cent class participation.

As with all successful approaches, it starts with establishing procedures. Students are paired, the length of time to share is established, and a decision is made for who will be the first of the two to share.

When you compare this approach to traditional ones, such as selecting one student to share with the class, the effectiveness of TIMED-PAIR-SHARE becomes readily apparent.
With this collaborative approach, half the class is sharing, while the other half listens attentively to their partners.

A variation is to have students take turns sharing with different partners on the same topic. Each time they share on the topic, the time limit is increased. This gives students the opportunity to start small and work their way up to more complicated ideas. As they hear ideas and language from their partner, they can incorporate what they’ve heard into their own turn to share.

One reason that much learning goes into short-term memory, rather than into long-term memory, is that students do not articulate and reflect that which has been taught.
TIMED-PAIR-SHARE is a simple and effective approach that should be used regularly to enhance long-term memory.



Author Stephen R. Covey in his book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” points out that very often we do not listen with the intention of understanding; instead we listen with a focus on replying.

Covey states, “When another person speaks, we’re usually listening at one of four levels: (1) We may be ignoring the person, not really listening at all. (2) We may practice
pretending: “Yeah. Uh-huh. Right.” (3) We may be practicing selective listening, hearing only certain parts of the conversation, as when we’re listening to the constant chatter of a preschool child. (4) We may be practicing attentive listening, paying attention and focusing only on the words being spoken.

However, very few of us, Dr. Covey contends, ever practice the fifth level, the highest form of listening: (5) empathic listening. This level of listening requires redirecting our own inner thoughts in order to absorb the information being presented. The process can have profound effects on both parent and child.

A simple procedure to help you start–and to have your child feel recognized–is to “zip the lip” when listening.


R + R – R = R + R

Rules + Regulations – Relationships = Resentment + Rebellion

–Lee Jenkins, “Improving Student Learning: Applying Deming’s Quality Principles In Classrooms”


Young people who respect or generally like an adult will handle ill feelings that the adult thrusts upon them. This is rather obvious when one considers how some coaches belittle their athletes and how some parents yell at their children.

However, when positive relationships have not been established, as in many classrooms, Lee Jenkins’ formula rings true.



The first 3 weeks of this school year have been absolutely amazing! The freshman teachers are no longer just kicking the kids out of class for misbehavior. Instead, they are taking the time to work through the issues with the students. This is going to ultimately foster positive student-teacher relationships and, better yet, increased academic performance. I know it’s early but I can see it occurring already.

The change can be attributed to a few different things, one of which, is the implementation of the three practices of Discipline Without Stress: positivity, reflection, and eliciting. Thank you, thank you, thank you for affording us this opportunity. We are truly excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.

Credit goes to Cecil McClellan, Principal and Lori Bradner, the teacher who introduced your system to us.

–Chuck Thacker, Dean Kathleen High School Lakeland, Florida


The PARENTING book: 

Children become the dominating figures of one’s life when they enter the picture. “Parenting Without Stress: How to Raise Responsible Kids While Keeping a Life of Your Own” is a guide for parents who want to attain the perfect balance in life where they can actually have a personal life and still show love and care for their children. Parenting is a naturally stressful thing, but it can be repelled through wise planning and making connections. “Parenting Without Stress” is a top pick for parents who love their children but have their love stressing them out.

–Midwest Review of Books