Posts Tagged Obedience versus Responsibility

Don’t Aim for Obedience

Are you aware of the advantages and disadvantages of conformity and the importance of obedience?

Conformity and obedience are natural and necessary in any society. This is how cultures perpetuate their values and traditions. However, obedience can promote stress on the part of all concerned.

Here is an example: The parent requests or demands that the teenager makes the bed before going to school. The teen obeys. We would refer to this as Level (C) cooperation or conformity on the Levels of Development.

In a similar scenario where the parent expects the teen to make the bed each morning, the teen does so without being told. We would refer to this as Level (D) taking the initiative on … >>>


Strong-Willed Child? Try This Discipline Approach

If you have a strong-willed child, you know that discipline can be tough. Traditional techniques of rewarding desired behaviors, of prompting fear by threatening, by imposing punishments, and by “telling” simply don’t work on a strong-willed child, because these approaches all aim at obedience. When the focus is on obedience, the result is often reluctance, resistance, resentment, and even rebellion.

These approaches set up stress for both adult and youth. As young people grow, the more we try to force obedience the more they resist. However, when the focus is on promoting responsibility in a noncoercive (but not permissive) approach, obedience follows as a natural by-product. That’s why the Discipline Without Stress methodology is so effective with a strong-willed child.… >>>


Motivate for Responsible Behavior

We prepare teachers to teach reading, writing, arithmetic, and other useful skills and worthwhile information leading to knowledge—and, hopefully, wisdom. Unfortunately, teachers are not taught that which is most essential when first entering the classroom: How to motivate for responsible behavior AND motivate students to want to put forth effort in their learning.


Practitioners of the Raise Responsibility System (Roman Numeral III at understand that the ONLY part of the system STUDENTS need to understand are the four levels of personal and social development. Lower levels A and B are unacceptable, whereas the higher levels C and D are both acceptable. Also, THE SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEVEL C … >>>


The Most Effective Way to Influence Others

There is a story about an old and wise martial arts master who invited his new student to share tea and conversation and to begin the teacher-student relationship. The student—who already had much training from other teachers—looked eager and ready to learn and said, “Teach me, master, how to be a great fighter.”

The wise master reached over with the teapot and began to pour the tea. He continued to pour even after the cup filled to the top. Tea began pouring down the sides. The student panicked, “It is already full. Why are you still pouring?”

The master responded, “So too, is your mind. It is filled with previous knowledge and experiences. You must empty your mind of everything … >>>


Aim for Responsibility, Not Obedience

The mindset of current educational approaches regarding student behavior focuses unfortunately on obedience, the source too often of reluctance, resistance, resentment, and even rebellion. Simply stated, OBEDIENCE DOES NOT CREATE DESIRE. However, when the focus is on promoting responsibility, obedience follows as a natural by-product.

The reason is that motivation to be responsible requires a DESIRE to do so. The motivation must be INTERNAL. Many schools use EXTERNAL motivation in the form of rewards, threats, and punishments. However, these approaches (a) foster compliance rather than commitment, (b) require an adult presence for monitoring, (c) set up students to be dependent upon external agents, and (d) do not foster long-term motivation for responsibility.

In addition, when students start collecting rewards—as in … >>>


Raise Responsible Children, Not Obedient Ones

Which would you rather have: a child who does what you ask but only when you ask (an obedient child) … or a child who does the right thing even when no one is looking simply because it’s the right thing to do (a responsible child)?

Most parents and teachers choose the latter. But if that’s what we want, why are so many adults still using outdated discipline techniques that promote obedience rather than responsibility? Such techniques include telling young people what to do, punishing them if they do not, and rewarding them if they do. These approaches teach only one thing: obedience. The shortcomings of obedience appear when teachers and parents are not around to use these external motivators. … >>>


Self-Esteem and Discipline

My concern with the current self-esteem movement we see in all facets of life is that it encourages approaches that address the person, rather than the action. For example, rather than saying, “I’m proud of you for getting such a good grade,” simply saying, “Well done!” is more meaningful and sends a more empowering message. Saying, “I see you made your bed” fosters feelings of self-competence. In contrast, saying, “I’m so proud of you for making your bed,” encourages making decisions to please the parent.

Acknowledgment accomplishes the intent of praise but without the disadvantages. It fosters feelings of being worthwhile, without relying on the approval of others. The long-range effect is to engender self-confidence, self-reliance, and self-discipline, … >>>