Separating the Act from the Actor


I have really enjoyed your book, “Discipline Without Stress, Punishment or Rewards,” and I have partially implemented it. However, I have a question. I had so many students who lied this year. What do you do in situations where the child refuses to admit what he did?


They lied to protect/defend themselves. A foundational characteristic of the Raise Responsibility System is that the deed is separated from the doer, the act from the actor, a good person from an inappropriate or wrong action. Therefore, reference is NOT made to the behavior. Reference is made to the LEVEL of behavior. Referring to a level is “outside” of oneself, thereby negating a feeling or “need” to self-defend.

This concept of referring to levels needs to be revisited when first starting to use the system. So is the second part of the system, ASKING REFLECTIVE QUESTIONS. It is your asking the question that will prompt reflection. And it is reflection that will prompt behavior changes.
When you have created an atmosphere where students know and feel that they can trust you—that no harm to them will be forthcoming, that your interest is solely in their accepting responsibility for their action—the sun will shine, the birds will sing, and your students will desist from lying.