Stop Trying to Control Youth

When parents and teachers first learn about the Discipline Without Stress methodology, they often ask me, “What sort of consequence would a child with level ‘A’ (Anarchy) behavior receive?”

The answer to this is in a prime difference between Discipline Without Stress and other approaches. Whether the consequence is referred to as logical or natural, as long as it is IMPOSED it will prompt a negative feeling and, therefore, one of resistance.

Rather than imposing a consequence, ELICIT it. The conversation goes something like, “This behavior is on a level that is simply inappropriate in our classroom (or home), and it is unacceptable. What do you suggest we do so that you will not continue to be a victim of these impulses?”

Continue to ask, “What else?” “What else?” “What else?” until the child comes up with a procedure or consequence that will help him or her redirect future impulses. This noncoercive approach sends the message that you want to help the youngster, not control him or her. Click here to review an example of impulse control.

It is very important to understand that this is NOT a permissive approach. Responsibility is placed ON THE CHILD, where it belongs.