Posts Tagged counterwill

Positive Discipline Reduces Stress

Using positive discipline when you communicate is the best way to get others to do what you want. If you’re natural inclination is to say, “No, don’t do that,” you’re actually creating more stress. There is a better, more positive way, to discipline.

Allow me to explain the reason that using the negative is ineffective.

Think of your last dream—not that you remember it, but think of how your brain envisioned it. Did you dream in words—or in pictures, illusions, or images? The brain thinks visually, not verbally. Simply stated, the brain does not think in words; it visualizes. This is the reason that using negatives is ineffective and why using positive discipline is so much better.

When people tell … >>>


Counterwill Causes Stress

Counterwill causes stress, and counterwill is something we all experience at some time in our lives. What is counterwill? Counterwill is the name for the natural human resistance to being controlled.

Adults as well as young people experience counterwill. Perhaps it’s no surprise that counterwill is the most misunderstood and misinterpreted dynamic in child-parent and teacher-student relationships.

This instinctive resistance to force can take many forms:

  • Refusal to do what is asked
  • Reluctance and resistance when being told
  • Disobedience or defiance
  • Lack of motivation to do what the adult desires the young person to do

Counterwill can also manifest itself in procrastination or in doing the opposite of what is expected. It can be expressed as passivity, negativity, oppositional defiance, … >>>


Defiant Child? Try Influence Instead

defiant childMost adults try to control a defiant child. But control rarely works. If you’ve tried to control a defiant child, regardless of their age, you’ve likely been met with counterwill.

“Counterwill” is the name for the natural human resistance to being controlled. Although adults experience this phenomenon, we seem to be surprised when we encounter it in children. Counterwill is the most misunderstood and misinterpreted dynamic in adult-child relations.

This instinctive resistance can take many forms—the reactive “No!” of the toddler, resistance when hurried, disobedience or defiance, and lack of motivation. Counterwill can manifest itself in procrastination or in doing the opposite of what is expected. It can be expressed as passivity, negativity, or argumentativeness and is such a universal … >>>



“Counterwill” is the name for the natural human resistance to being controlled by someone else.

This instinctive resistance can take many forms—disobedience or defiance, procrastination, doing the opposite of what is expected, and lack of motivation. Counterwill is normal in toddlers, in young people of all ages, and most certainly in adults. It is such a universal phenomenon at certain stages of development that it has given rise to the term “rebellious twos” and “rebellious teens.”

The underlying dynamic of counterwill is deceptively simple: a defensive reaction to felt coercion. On a side note, the totally noncoercive (but not permissive) Discipline Without Stress Teaching Model totally bypasses counterwill.

Trying to deal with this dynamic by using coercion is a … >>>


Reduce Power Struggles to Reduce Stress

I believe most theories about the stress and strain dealing with young people of all ages—especially adolescents—have focused incorrectly on such factors as physical changes, emerging sexuality, new social pressures, and struggles between being a child and an adult.

This period is often difficult for both young people and parents. As young people grow, conflicts arise. A prime reason is that the young want to become independent, but adults continue to exert authority with coercion and expect obedience. Attempts at continual control so often lead to counterwill—the natural human tendency to resist being controlled. This leads to power struggles, which lead to even more resistance, reluctance, resentment, and even rebellion.

Parents assume that rebellion is inevitably a function of development. … >>>


Restorative Justice in the Los Angeles Unified School District

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has adopted Restorative Justice as the district’s discipline policy. This program focuses on community building, repairing harm, and reintegrating students who have been suspended, truant, or expelled.

Restorative Justice was developed years ago and, as the name implies, was originally developed to help incarcerated people make amends for their misdeeds.

Although the intent of Restorative Justice has many good qualities, the program is a process—considering that LAUSD has planned to implement the program over a three-year period.

I should make my position clear regarding my association with the Los Angeles district. To begin, I have great admiration for large urban school districts. I consulted with the New York Board of Education working with … >>>


The Impact of Counterwill on Classroom Discipline

Counterwill expressionCounterwill is the natural human instinct to resist being controlled or coerced, and counterwill is often the cause of many classroom discipline problems.

People don’t like being told what to do, so we react negatively when someone tells us to do something. Yet, we tend to be surprised when encountering counterwill in younger people. Somehow we forget that all people have feelings; even infants cry or smile depending upon the situation, and if they feel controlled or coerced they react negatively.

The instinctive resistance stemming from counterwill takes many forms as demonstrated by the “no” of a toddler, disobedience or defiance of a youngster, and even laziness or lack of motivation of a teenager. Counterwill sometimes manifests itself as doing … >>>


Telling and Lecturing are Ineffective Discipline Techniques

Telling and lecturing as discipline are generally ineffective with young people who are trying to assert their independence. Besides, when young people become adolescents, they become “experts” in everything. Just try telling a teenager something and see how far you get. This phenomenon is captured in a quotation attributed to Mark Twain:

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant that I could hardly stand to have him around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished how much he had learned in seven years.

You can visualize the scene. You are talking to your teenage son and attempting to inform him of the disadvantages of what he wants to do. You make your … >>>