Posts Tagged Choice

An Easy Way to End Stressful Relationships

Are you tired of stressful relationships where you feel you are always nagging, threatening, or bribing the other person to do what needs to be done?

Social scientists have determined that people accept inner responsibility for their behavior and actions when they think they have CHOSEN to perform it in the absence of outside pressure, such as a large reward. In other words, while the incentive may get people to perform a certain action, it won’t get them to accept inner responsibility for the act. Consequently, they won’t feel COMMITTED to it.

The same is true of a strong threat; it may motivate immediate compliance, but it is unlikely to produce long-term commitment.

What Stressful Relationships Look Like

You may … >>>


Discipline and Change

Although you can control another person through outdated discipline techniques like imposed punishments and rewards, you cannot change what a person thinks. People think and change themselves.

Ben Franklin said, “You cannot coerce people into changing their minds.” Once you learn this simple fact of life, the next question is, “How can I best influence the person to change?” The answer will always be through a noncoercive approach. Using positivity, choice, and reflection (all of which are discussed in detail on this site and in my books Discipline Without Stress and Parenting Without Stress) will increase your effectiveness in influencing others and will also result in improved relationships and fewer discipline challenges.

Remember, a change in behavior … >>>


Use Choices to Improve Relationships

Here is an important concept for all parents to remember regarding relationships: Not losing is more important than winning. Children’s desires will not always be fulfilled, but as long as they are aware that they have a choice as to their responses, they are not put in a position where they feel that they lose—which naturally prompts negative feelings.

No one likes being cornered, literally or figuratively. The belief of not having a choice encourages resistance because it prompts a feeling of being trapped. When a child is without options, the result is not only resistance but also resentment. By contrast, offering choices ensures that a child’s power and dignity are retained.

As a parent, you are choosing >>>


Limited versus Unlimited Choices

Offering youngsters choices is a key part of Parenting Without Stress. The choices parents offer can be either “limited” or “unlimited.”

Limited choices allow the child to select from a restricted number of options offered by the parent, whereas in unlimited choices, the child is encouraged to come up with an option of his or her own. Generally, the younger the child, the more limited the choices. For example, “Do you want cereal or an egg for breakfast?” would be a limited choice, while “What do you want for breakfast?” would be unlimited and more appropriate as children mature. However, if the response to an unlimited question is not practical, the choices can again be limited.

In situations when … >>>


In Inner Gyroscope

Historically, people lived in the same small village their entire lives. There was little change in their lives—not only in their residence bur in the community’s values and in the occupations or with the few people with whom they came in contact. Today we live in a time of “constant change.” We say, in fact, that the only constant is change. How then do we best handle change? The answer is through developing an inner gyroscope.

A gyroscope (dictionary definition) is a device, used to provide stability or maintain a fixed orientation, consisting of a wheel or disc spinning rapidly about an axis which is itself free to alter in direction.

As parents, we want our children to acquire a … >>>


Positivity, Choice, and Reflection in a Nutshell

Positivity, choice, and reflection are to be fed. They reduce stress, increase parental effectiveness, and improve relationships. Why? Here’s a brief synopsis of each.

  • Negative comments prompt negative feelings. Positive comments engender positive feelings and responsible behavior. Parents who are effective in influencing their children to positive actions phrase their communications in positive terms. Positivity creates an atmosphere in which children feel valued, supported, respected, motivated, capable, and proud.
  • Either consciously or nonconsciously, people are always choosing how to respond to any situation, stimulus, or impulse. Teaching young people about choice-response thinking—that they never need think of themselves as victims—is one of the most valuable thinking patterns we can give them. This type of thinking teaches the difference between
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How can I explain the difference between Level C and D of this discipline system?


What is the best way to explain to children the difference between internal and external motivation––in other words, the difference between DWS Levels C and D?  I am having trouble with this.


Initially I use very concrete examples connected directly to the classroom.

I describe Level C as the level where students do the right thing––what’s expected of them by the teacher––because the teacher is clearly expecting them to do it.

Some simple examples:

  • The student will pick up toys off the floor when they are asked.
  • The student will walk quietly in the hallway when a teacher is supervising.
  • The student will clean up a mess he/she has made when
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Using DWS to deal with younger siblings visiting in the classroom

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 … >>>