Many people struggle with self-acceptance. In other words, too many people are searching for acceptance outside of themselves when they haven’t yet learned to accept themselves. Self-acceptance means being okay with WHO you are. It means being kind to yourself even when you make mistakes, fail, or do something that you later regret. When you practice self-acceptance, you reduce your stress level greatly.
Self-acceptance is a close relative to self-esteem. It is difficult to have one without the other, and, if you have one, you will tend to have the other. There may be many reasons why people have low self-acceptance, but most fall into one or more the following areas:
- A desire to be perfect
- A focus on imperfections
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Have you ever said in frustration, “What should I do with this kid?” If you have, you’re not alone. It’s probably one of the most common questions teachers and parents ask themselves.
Realize, though, that you don’t “do” things to people. A better approach—one that promotes responsibility and reduces discipline problems—is to teach young people to do things for themselves.
Using traditional approaches of discipline, such as imposed punishments and rewards, may make the parent or teacher feel better, but it does little to foster independence and self-discipline in youth. In fact, the external approaches of relying on rules, imposing consequences, rewarding youth for appropriate behavior, and punishing children to make them obey are all counterproductive. They may force compliance … >>> READ MORE >>> →
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, … >>> READ MORE >>> →
By using rewards and imposed punishments as discipline strategies, we give children the easy way out—at the expense of their development and maturation. Rather than empowering them with responsibility and the gift of self-discipline, they quickly learn that temporary compliance will get them off the hook, either in the form of accepting a loss of privileges or writing apology notes that will right all wrongs. Many children would rather take the pain of imposed punishment than take the time to make difficult decisions and exert self-control.
When we use rewards and imposed punishments as motivational strategies, we are teaching kids to make their decisions based on someone else’s reaction. We reinforce the practice of people making their decisions based on … >>> READ MORE >>> →
External motivators are used extensively in schools. This includes telling young people what to do, punishing them if they do not, and rewarding them if they do. These approaches teach young people obedience. The shortcomings of obedience appear when teachers and parents are not around to use these external motivators.
The Raise Responsibility System focuses on internal motivation, which builds the vision to act with responsible, autonomous behavior—whether or not anyone else is around.
If America is to continue the civil democracy that has been our heritage, we must do more than just talk about civil democracy and responsibility; we must actively foster it. We can do this in a classroom by providing opportunities for students to take responsibility and … >>> READ MORE >>> →
In this season of gratitude and giving, I would like to share one of the many joys I received. (Warning: It may be odoriferous.)
On the second day of using Raise Responsibility System, a miracle happened. The student who had driven me crazy all year chose to take a time out for reflection at his desk (instead of outside in the hall) after he farted five times in less than ten minutes during story time on the rug. Farting at will is one of his special talents. I explained that if he chose to sit at his desk, he would still have to allow the rest of us to concentrate. He agreed.
When after two minutes he began belching … >>> READ MORE >>> →
REDUCING PERFECTIONISM (Conclusion)
Have the student choose two activities and anticipate the length of time he anticipates each activity will take. Then, set a timer. Let him know that he has enough control over himself to stop the first activity and start on the second. When the anticipated time for the first activity has expired, have him start on the second. At the end of the allotted time for the second activity, have him visit the first activity and determine how much more time still would be necessary for it to be of QUALITY work. The process is repeated for the other activity.
Next assignment: Have him outline a typical day in 15 minute blocks. After reviewing it, make the … >>> READ MORE >>> →
REDUCING PERFECTIONISM (Continued)
Give the student an assignment. Have him explain the following aphorism, “You cannot be perfect and learn at the same time.”
A few examples may help. (1) Have him assume that he is playing the piano and makes a false note. Ask him if he will conclude that he has no musical talent? (2) Have him assume he is playing baseball and strikes out. Ask him if he will assume that he has no athletic skills? (3) Have him assume that he misspells a word on a spelling test. Ask him if he will assume he has no writing skills?
Let him know that PERFECTIONISM is a burden no one is strong enough to carry without permanent … >>> READ MORE >>> →
I stumbled upon an article entitled, “Reducing Perfectionism,” and it was enlightening. I am a principal of two rural buildings and I often direct my teachers to articles and readings that will promote success in the classroom.
I was wondering if you had any ideas or strategies for a child we would like to help. His teacher is frustrated because he takes so very long to complete his work. He is very neat, precise and there is no issue with his learning. He is successful, but his tendency is to be perfect. It must look right, by his perception, before moving on; it’s this moving on that we need to trigger. I am open to any strategies that may … >>> READ MORE >>> →
A key strategy to parenting and influencing others is to be a good listener.
But there is a paradox to this skill because in order to have influence with another, the influencer has to be open to being influenced. Simply stated, the more a person is open to others, the greater is the ability to influence. This may seem a paradox, but if you understand this paradox, you can be more effective in influencing others.
Here is the point: Listening can also refer to oneself. Warren Buffett, the ace stock picker and empire builder, gives credit to his partner, Charlie Munger, for the Orangutan Theory:
“If a smart person goes into a room with an orangutan and explains whatever his … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Does anyone know if Discipline without Stress is ever implemented in high school? I teach high school Leadership classes and I think high schoolers need these things even more immediately than little ones. The real world is going to require self-discipline of them, real soon! Raising their responsibility is exactly what high school kids need. Most of the discussions I hear about the system seemed aimed at younger children, though presumably they should be applicable to older students as well. I would like any tips, or even encouragement for using this discipline approach in high school.
Discipline without Stress was developed when the author, Dr. Marvin Marshall, was teaching in a high school setting. It’s been adapted for … >>> READ MORE >>> →
I don’t understand how the teaching of procedures can be used in a discipline situation. Can you give me an example?
Having used Discipline without Stress for several years now, I understand the importance of teaching procedures at the start of the school year. Even so, I still find that I sometimes forget this important step in my teaching and then suffer the consequences. Luckily though, I also know how Dr. Marshall would suggest remedying such a situation. He would suggest backtracking–to teach the procedures that I should have taught in the first place! Here is an example of one such impromptu “lesson” which turned out to be extremely helpful for the remainder of the school year.
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