Volume 5 Number 1
IN THIS ISSUE:
2. Promoting Responsibility
3. Increasing Effectiveness
4. Improving Relationships
5. Promoting Learning
6. Implementing The Raise Responsibility System:
Your Questions Answered
Impulse Management Posters and Cards
What People Say About THE RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM
I received the following
e-mail this past Monday, January 3, and am sharing it with you in hopes that
your 2005 may be as successful as this teacher and parent reported.
When my elementary school
first implemented the Raise Responsibility System, I was somewhat apprehensive
such a program would work in my classroom. I have always felt that I created a
positive learning environment in my
class and, frankly, this system seemed like just one more passing fad to add to
our classroom management file.
However, after reading Dr.
Marshall’s book, “Discipline Without Stress, Punishments or Rewards,” I realized
I was going to use this in my classroom, I should try it at home first.
As a mother of two
teenagers, creating an environment that was stress-free really appealed to me. I
talked to my
children about how stressful things had been at home and shared with them a
little bit about the program that I was
“trying out” on them. Later that day, I heard my daughter slamming doors and
screaming at the top of her lungs at her
Before, I would have stormed
in to intervene and quickly reacted to the situation without even thinking.
calmly began using such questions as: “Is what you are doing something that is
beneficial?” My daughter stopped and
looked at me and said, “Oh, this is that discipline thing you are using at
school, right? Okay, so, no! No, it is
not.” I asked, “Is what you are doing something that falls in line with the
standards of our family?” She sighed, “No.”
I said, “Would you tell me what our family rule is regarding yelling.” She
relayed to me that yelling was not allowed and
that if we had anything to say we could say it in a calm manner. Finally, I
said, “Well, what do you think we should
do about this?”
I told her to go to her room
and reflect on what we should do about what had happened between her and her
brother. A little while later, she came back in and asked to talk to her
brother. She apologized for yelling at him and proceeded
to give us a list of consequences that she had decided on. “I guess I should not
use the computer for three weeks, or
talk on the phone, or go to the movies with my friends,” she began the list. We
Honestly, this was the first
time that she had really accepted responsibility for something so calmly. The
three weeks were very interesting. She answered the phone and we could hear her
explain, “I can’t talk on the phone right now because my parents . . . I mean, I
have restricted myself.”
Since using this in our
home, life seems so much more enjoyable. The truth is that our children do know
expected of them. Holding them to a higher level of responsibility has made all
of our lives more peaceful.
Thank you. –Wendi Hall, Vestavia Hills, Alabama
Wendi’s story is in my
parenting book–now in its 4th chapter of writing. If you have a story to share,
don’t be shy. Your experiences can be helpful to others.
People know when they act
irresponsibly. But their knowing does not stop that type of behavior.
Knowing the cause for
behavior may be interesting, but has nothing to do with changing that behavior.
responsibility is accepted, the person will not act differently–even when the
person knows the reason.
Therefore, rarely ask a
person why the behavior occurred. “Why?” implies that the reason for the
behavior makes a
difference–but it does not. Knowing or knowledge does not lead to behavior
Rather than asking “Why?” a
more effective approach would be to ask, “What are we going to do about it?”
start the morning as a “downer” when you can start your day in a positive,
Here is a little
procedure you can use. Get up 20 minutes earlier than you need to do. Before
turning on the TV or
reading the newspaper–both of which can be full of discouraging news–read
The positive energy
engendered will carry you through the day so that any situation you encounter
can be handled more easily.
Simply by being uplifted
in the morning, you will find it easier to enjoy your entire day.
4. IMPROVING RELATIONSHIPS
A mistake is an honest
acknowledgment of an error of judgment, devoid of any self-incrimination or
self-diminution. We all commit them. If we used the option of allowing a simple
acknowledgment of a mistake, how much
clearer and more joyful life would be.
A woman was standing in a
grocery line in front of an elderly man. He hollered at her continually, telling
move her merchandise closer to the cashier–even though there were other
customers in front of her also patiently
waiting in line.
The lady finally turned and
stated, “Your behavior is rude. Is that your intention or a mistake?”
What an easy way to prevent
5. PROMOTING LEARNING
When you present
something, follow this formula:
WHAT it is you will
WHY it is important to know about it.
HOW the listener can use it.
Give an EXAMPLE of how it works.
The more you use this
simple approach, the more people will be motivated to put forth the effort to
learn what you are
6. Implementing the RAISE
I have a student who cut up
confetti and placed it inside a folded, stapled paper. I warned him that not one
better be found on school property. Otherwise, I would have him him write an
essay. I want to do what you would do at this point.
I would have a personal conversation letting him know that when he acts on level
B he is making his own standards and
acting in a way that is not acceptable.
I would then say, “You have
my full confidence that none of the confetti will leave the room, that it will
of, and that you know how to do it.”
Then let him know that you
think the wisest thing that could be done would be to come up with some
procedure–so that if he has an impulse to do something that he knows he should
not do he will be able to re-direct the impulse.
After a procedure is created
to help him, have him practice it–at least THREE times. Have him imagine
situations when an impulse could take over, but now he can redirect that
mischievous impulse. Then have him write a
letter to you (rather than an Essay Form) explaining one of the situations and
how he would handle it now.
Keep in mind the three
principles: Be positive in your communications, imply that he has a choice but
expectations, and prompt the student to reflect. [POSITIVITY, CHOICE
(empowerment and expectations), and
You can share and learn more about the
RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM (RRS) at
IMPULSE MANAGEMENT POSTERS and CARDS
Learning a procedure for
responding appropriately to
impulses is described on the Impulse Management link at
What People Say About THE RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM
“I am so impressed with Dr.
Marshall’s strategies and the
simplicity of the program.”
–Sarah Crippen, Education specialist
Education Service Center Region XV, San Angelo, TX