Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – May 2003

Volume 3 Number 5


  1. Welcome
  2. Promoting Responsibility
  3. Increasing Effectiveness
  4. Improving Relationships
  5. Your Questions Answered
  6. Implementing The Raise Responsibility System:
    Free Mailring
    Your Questions Answered
    Impulse Management Posters and Cards
  7. Promoting Learning
  8. About the book


Last Saturday on May 3, I had the pleasure of presenting the RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM to an elementary school staff in the morning and then to parents in the afternoon in West Palm Beach, Florida. The principal, a true educational leader, requested that I include my videotape that is part of the IN-HOUSE STAFF DEVELOPMENT PACKAGE.

Having the 90-minute videocassette would allow teachers to review the three principles to practice and the three parts of the RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM. In addition, viewing the tape and having the 70-page Resource Guide would allow future new teachers to learn the program in a quick and easy way.

In addition, having copies of the book would allow teachers to not only review Chapter 3, which describes the discipline system, it would be an ideal source for study groups because chapter 4 on promoting learning and chapter 5 on teaching (plus chapter 6 on parenting) are not discussed in either the IN-HOUSE SEMINAR PACKAGE or in a personal presentation.


We have a moral responsibility to be happy.

We owe it to our wife, husband or partner; our fellow workers; our children; our friends–indeed to anyone who comes into our lives. If for no other reason, people act more decently when they are happy.

If we equate happiness with success, we will never achieve the amount of success necessary to make us happy. There is always more success than we can achieve. As long as what we do is JOYFUL and MEANINGFUL, happiness will ensue.

Neither is money the cause of happiness. Some unhappy poor people have the illusion that money will make them happy. (Unhappy rich people donít even have that.)

Neither will fun bring happiness. Fun is temporary. Happiness is ongoing. Fun is during; happiness is during AND AFTER.

An awareness of what brings happiness requires a great deal of thought for many of us. It requires the discipline to overcome natural inclinations to do what is most pleasurable at the moment, rather than what is most happy-inducing.

In order to be happy, we have to ask ourselves, “Will this–having this thing, taking this action, relating to this person, purchasing this item, even dwelling on this thought–have me become happier or unhappier?”

Dissatisfaction is what makes personal improvement possible –whether it be better emotional ties to others, better personal ethics, or better personal health. Indeed, anything that becomes better does so as a result of previous dissatisfaction. Cherish human dissatisfaction, but do not allow it to prompt unhappiness.

I try to be happy unless something happens that stimulates me to be unhappy. In this case, I will be unhappy until I decide to be happy. This is based on my “choice-response” philosophy. I have a choice as to whether to allow dissatisfaction to direct my feelings. When my feelings are not what I would like them to be, I start thinking of something else–or I change my activity.

In the “Welcome” of my March 2003 e-zine, I explained that cognition and emotions are so tightly interwoven physiologically that separating them is beyond our current scientific knowledge. However, our brain–rather than our emotions or our nature–should be the arbiter of our happiness.

Practice reflection (along with my other two principles of positivity and the empowerment of choice). Reflection prompts the most important source of happiness: gratitude. Grateful people are happy people.


If you truly want to manage your time effectively, stop thinking in terms of amount and start thinking in terms of priority. Divide priorities into musts and wants. Ensure that you have ample time for the musts, then fill in the wants as needed, and ignore everything that isn’t on the priority list–unless you have still more time left over. If not doing your wants creates problems, they will become priorities. If not doing them doesn’t matter, they will disappear. And if all of your musts are work-related, throw out the list and start again.


Temper is what gets us into trouble.

Pride is what keeps us there.



Why is change so difficult?


Change is not difficult; it just feels difficult because it is different from what we are accustomed to doing.

Here’s proof. Fold your arms. Now fold them in the opposite manner. Feel funny?

That’s because you are not accustomed to it. We do things because it “feels right”–regardless of how unsatisfactory or unsuccessful it is. Anything new will feel a little funny or awkward. You need to practice it a minimum of seven times before the brain makes new neural connections so it “feels right.”

Fold your arms in the manner in which you are not accustomed seven times in the next 24 hours. You will see how much more comfortable it then feels.

When we realize that anything new–and that includes change–feels awkward or funny at first, it becomes less difficult.

6. Implementing the RAISE

You can share and learn more about the




I teach Special Ed in an elementary school. I am starting to present the social development hierarchy to my students. I have used “behavior plans” in the past, but they have only promoted “sneaky” behaviors. I hope to instill “proper” behavior by the students. They are reluctant thus far. Are there any pointers to help the reluctant student?


Let the students know that they are victims when they act on their impulses–that they are lacking control over themselves. Then ask the students if they really want to be victims (where they are not in control)–or victors (where they are in control.) To be a victor, respond to impulses in positive ways. Otherwise, you are being manipulated.

Then let the students know that you will not force them to learn.

That is their choice. If they choose not to learn they are only harming themselves, and that is their decision.

But you will not allow them to disrupt the class.


Thank you for responding to my question about the reluctant students. I have taken this month to offer the idea of victims or victors of their behaviors. I would like add that I have taken a quote from the new “Harry Potter” movie to add to their way of thinking.

Toward the end of the movie Alibis Dumbledore, the headmaster of the Griffondore House, offers the following advice to Harry Potter. “It is not our abilities that say who we are. It is our choices.”

I am finding this to be a fine phrase to offer to students, that they are the one who decide what will happen in their lives. They are limited (at this point) in Math and Reading. The students can choose to learn or not. They can also choose to behave or not.


Learning a procedure to respond appropriately to impulses is described on the Impulse Management link.



My PROMOTING LEARNING article on <teachers.net/gazette> for this month is about Listening Lessons.

Read “How to Help Kids Learn and Comprehend.”

The article is at: http://teachers.net/gazette/MAY03/marshall.html

8. About the Book


How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility & Learning”

“This book is a potent contribution to the field of child service. Not only has Dr. Marshall shown us a philosophy that works, he makes it easy to understand and implement. Everyone wins–especially our young people.”

James Sutton, Ed.D., Child Psychologist

Author of “If My Kid’s So Nice … Why’s He Driving ME Crazy?”