No matter what the situation, you always have a choice and can choose your thoughts. These choices are a significant factor in determining your life. The sooner you become aware of this, the less stress you’ll experience.
Realize that regardless of a situation that cannot be changed, regardless of a stimulation that prompts emotions to erupt, and regardless of an urge or impulse, you always have the power and freedom to choose your thoughts and how to respond. The ability is referred to as choice-response thinking
Learning choice-response thinking—that you need not be a victim—may be one of the most valuable thinking patterns you can develop.
The Power of Choice
Choice empowers. Choice, control, and responsibility are so woven together … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Stressful situations are bound to happen. But no matter what occurs, you can always choose your response. Consider this true story.
I was comfortably seated in an airplane ready for take-off on a flight to California. I had just started reading my book when the pilot announced a two-hour delay. Los Angeles International Airport was fogged in.
After a few minutes of additional reading, I looked up from my book. I was one of the few passengers who had not deplaned. Even with a good read, adding two hours to the flight seemed a little long to remain seated. I left my materials in the overhead storage compartment and returned to the airport terminal.
After a half-hour of strolling and … >>> READ MORE >>> →
One of the significant characteristics of the Discipline Without Stress approach has to do with acting reflectively versus reacting reflexively.
What’s the difference? Consider this example. You are at home and the telephone rings. You answer it.
Assume for a moment that you are NOT familiar with choice-response thinking. If I were to query you why you answered the phone, most of you would say—in one way or another—that the PHONE WAS A STIMULUS AND ANSWERING IT WAS THE RESPONSE.
Now, let’s assume that you are at home watching a television program that you had been looking forward to seeing. You are totally engaged in a scene and the phone rings. Would you disrupt your involvement in the program to … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Are you acting REFLEXIVELY or REFLECTIVELY? Consider this scenario: You are at home and the telephone rings. You answer it. Assume for a moment that you are NOT familiar with
choice-response thinking (something discussed at length in various blog posts). If I were to query you why you answered the phone, most would say, in one way or another, that the phone was a stimulus and answering it was the response.
Now, let’s assume that you are at home watching a television program that you had been looking forward to seeing. You are totally engaged in a dramatic scene and the phone rings. Would you disrupt your involvement in the program to answer it?
In this situation, some people would … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Practicing the principles of positivity, choice, and reflection reduces stress. These three principles also improve relationships, increase effectiveness in influencing others to change their behaviors, and make discipline easier. Here are some key points to remember:
- Negative comments engender negative attitudes, while positive comments engender positive attitudes. People who are effective in influencing other to positive actions phrase their communications in positive terms. Rather than use consequences, which are usually perceived negatively and do not change the way a person wants to behave, they use contingencies, which promise with the positive and place the responsibility on the young person—where it belongs. If a consequence is necessary, a more effective approach is to elicit the consequence—which should be reasonable, respectable, and
… >>> READ MORE >>> →
Regardless of the situation, the stimulus, or the impulse, people choose their responses. To do otherwise would be to operate from compulsion. This is the beauty of being human. Unlike animals, we humans need not succumb to our reflexes or emotions.
Furthermore, the less we succumb, the less we are driven by tyrannical obsessions. Therefore, one of our most important tasks as parents is to teach and model choice-response thinking—that even young people can be in control of their choices.
So as not to fall back on previous habits and approaches, it is necessary to become aware of our options. You can do this very simply by teaching your child a procedure. Have the youngsters say, … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Although there are things in life that are out of our control, it is how we perceive them that is critical. This understanding is not new; it’s just not common. Centuries ago, the Greek philosopher Epictetus (55-135) proposed that we are disturbed not by events but by the views we take of them. In other words, it is not the event itself that is the problem; it is our perception of the event that creates our suffering. Is it a problem or a challenge? “Victimhood thinking” is a perception and the opposite of choice-response thinking.
Besides creating unhappiness, victimhood thinking is also counterproductive to developing responsibility. A cartoon shows a young boy explaining his report card to his parents, as … >>> READ MORE >>> →
The ultimate freedom is the right to choose my attitude in any given situation.
Teaching young people about choice-response thinking, that they need not be victims, may be one of the most valuable thinking patterns we can give them. Students become more responsible when they learn that in almost any situation, or with any stimulus, or with any impulse or urge, they still have freedom to choose a response.
We all experience situations that are beyond our control, either momentarily or permanently. We are confronted with weather and other natural forces, with inconveniences, unpleasant assignments, unrewarding family or work relationships, and numerous situations that we cannot change. However, we can choose our responses … >>> READ MORE >>> →
This is the third part in a series of interviews about “Where We Are Going” with Michael F. Shaughnessy of Eastern New Mexico University.
Your book “Discipline without Stress” has been out there for several years. Any idea as to how many schools use and refer to it?
Since the book was published in 2001, 50,000 copies have been sold so far. The next 10,000 copies will be off the press within the next few weeks. I’ve heard it said that the book is perhaps the best ever published on how to discipline and promote learning.
The comments on the homepage for the book give an indication of its popularity. Here is an example I received from a … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Throughout this summer, I’ve been emailing back and forth with one teacher in my province who wants to learn how the reading program my partner and I have developed, works in our grade one classroom. She is also quite interested in a program our K-6 school has instituted called “The Whole School Read,” in which every class reads for the first 30 minutes of the day and parents are encouraged to join us as helpers.
She recently asked me the question posted below and I share my response here because it includes an explanation of how this discipline approach can be used to help children take responsibility for their own behavior by understanding the concept of Choice-Response Thinking. In … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Recently I came across this poem by Portia Nelson.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE SHORT CHAPTERS
by Portia Nelson
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.READ MORE >>> →
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.… >>>