Posts Tagged Levels of Behavior

Common Questions About Discipline Without Stress

Parents and teachers often ask me questions about Discipline Without Stress, both its methodology and best practices. Following are some of the most common questions I received. I hope they help others in their quest to raise responsible children.

(Q = Question. R = Response)

Q: What would you do in the following scenario: You ask your children/students to identify the level they have chosen but they refuse to be honest and acknowledge the actual level chosen.

R: If the youngster is in the 5th or 6th grade or above, I would NOT ASK. Instead I would say, “Reflect on the level you are choosing, and consider whether you want to continue on that level or rise to a … >>>


Avoid This Discipline Without Stress Mistake

If you are new to the Disciple Without Stress approach, here is some advice:

One common early mistake teachers make is to think that knowledge of the levels, ABCD, is the “magic key” to Discipline Without Stress—that once students know the levels and can identify their level at any point in time, that all the teacher has to do is ask, “At what level is this behavior?” and the child will magically move to level C or D. If only it were that easy!

Realize that the levels are just a UNIQUE vocabulary aspect of Discipline Without Stress that enables teachers and students to more easily communicate about types of behavior choices. They also enable students to reflect silently in … >>>


Discipline Goals

Many teachers who use the Discipline Without Stress methodology comment on how getting children to act on Level D of the Levels of Development is their goal. In reality, having all students operate on Level D should not be the goal of this discipline system. Rather, the teacher’s goal is to have the motivation at least on Level C so that a civil and productive learning environment is created in the classroom. So Level C is the goal for the teacher, not Level D.

Some students will certainly CHOOSE to set their sights higher (Level D), and of course this is what you hope, but it is not something over which you have direct control. You cannot force any student … >>>


How to Foster Initiative in Students

Recently a teacher asked me, “Can we really expect ALL children (even kindergartners) to understand and abide by the Discipline Without Stress’ 4 levels of behavior without ANY rewards?”

Here is my reply:

YES, but you start by differentiating between ACCEPTABLE levels and UNACCEPTABLE levels. See the posters and cards at

Also (and this is critical), be sure you have taught, practiced, and practiced again EVERYTHING you want your students to do. A MAJOR ERROR EVEN EXPERIENCED TEACHERS MAKE is ASSUMING that students, of any age, know what to do without first learning, practicing, and ritualizing the procedure or skill.

Once STUDENTS (especially young ones) HAVE LEARNED what YOU want them to do, they will want to do … >>>


Advanced Concepts for Using the Raise Responsibility System

Here are some advanced concepts for using the Raise Responsibility System (RRSystem) for discipline, for encouragement, and for promoting learning and academic achievement.

RRSystem for Discipline:
After teachers are well into the mode of ASKING students (instead of telling them) to identify a level of chosen behavior, asking for a response may seem coercive. At this point, teachers can then shift to SUGGESTING that students SIMPLY REFLECT on their chosen level.

Remember that the hierarchy is NOT an assessment tool for someone on the outside looking in. Also understand that no one can know the motivation of another person with complete accuracy, and since rewards can change motivation, rewarding Level D behavior can be counterproductive. The reward-giver will never know … >>>


Discipline and the Raise Responsibility System

In the Raise Responsibility System, we speak of Levels of Behavior, with Levels C and D being the two highest. The main difference between the two lies in the difference in motivation. While an action at Level C and D can look identical, it is the difference in the MOTIVATION that identifies one person’s action as being at Level C and another person’s as being at Level D. When your students are acting at either level, discipline issues are greatly diminished.

Here is an example to clarify the difference in the two levels:

Students at Level C do home assignments, but only after being reminded by a parent. At Level D, students complete home assignments simply because they know that … >>>