Posts Tagged reflection

A Time for Reflection and Moving Forward

It seems amazing that this most tumultuous and disruptive year is finally coming to a close. As we all reflect on 2020 and the lessons it has taught us, it’s important to keep both balance and perspective as we focus on moving forward.

Personally, this past year I have tried to keep my responsibilities in line, despite the many challenges this year brought the world. The five foundational categories I have focused on are:

Family – immediate and far-reaching

Finance – and contributory fulfillment

Fitness – physical and psychological

Faith – religious, and optimism in resolving failings

Friends – to feed and find anew

Of course, I’ve had to adapt and find new ways to keep my priorities in order. … >>>


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 … >>>


Information Overload and Stress Management

In today’s world of social media and 24/7 news, information overload is real and potentially doing more harm than good—causing many to make poor decisions and feel an overwhelming amount of stress.

How is this possible? Science tells us that with too much information (aka – information overload) people’s decisions make less and less sense and their stress level rises. This may seem counter-intuitive at first. After all, isn’t getting all the facts in the best interest of everyone? And if some information is good, then more information is even better, right? Wrong!

Here’s a fact to consider: Decisions requiring creativity benefit from letting the problem incubate below the level of awareness, something that becomes ever-more difficult when information never … >>>


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Although you can control another person through outdated discipline techniques like imposed punishments and rewards, you cannot change what a person thinks.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


3 Keys for Stress-Free Discipline

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
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What if students deny Level A/B behavior?


How do I handle denial? I have several 5th grade students who deny their behavior. Even when I directly observe their Level A/B behaviors, they deny everything.  I find this stops every conversation I try to have with them.  It’s so frustrating!   How can I guide students  toward responsibility when they are in denial?

RESPONSE  from a member of  THE DWS MAILRING:

I’ve encountered this problem as well. Here are three ways that I deal with it:

1. During an after-class chat with these students, instead of saying “When you were throwing pens….”, I might say, “If someone was throwing pens during a lesson, what level would that behavior be at?”   This way students aren’t directly confronted.  Initially, … >>>


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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Using the Discipline without Stress Principle of Reflection to improve spelling.

Through our use of the Discipline without Stress approach, my teaching partner and I have come to understand that positive changes in behavior are more likely to occur when we prompt students to think about how they choose to operate in their lives. More and more often, we now practice the Discipline without Stress Principle of Reflection–not only in behavior and discipline situations, but in academics too.

Dr. Marshall’s Hierarchy of Social Development is a wonderful tool for encouraging students to look honestly at choices in all areas of their lives. With an understanding of choice-response thinking, young people become aware that a conscious choice to operate at the higher levels is always an option—an option that results in powerful … >>>


I need help with positivity.

I’m having a hard time with the first principle of Discipline without Stress–the Principle of POSITIVITY. I’m not sure how I can say something positive in a discipline situation–when a student is doing something that he/she shouldn’t be doing! I need some examples.

Dr. Marshall encourages teachers to think, speak and act with positivity in order to be most effective when they implement DISCIPLINE without STRESS system. Even when a situation might be perceived as negative, as in a case where discipline is necessary, he points out that it is possible to phrase communications with students in positive, rather than negative ways.

He points out that people do best when they feel better about themselves–as opposed to when … >>>