Discipline without Stressis the only discipline and learning system that is totally noncoercive. But it is not permissive.
Notice that the term, “system,” is used. It is an entire teaching model that can be The approach is proactive, Stephen Covey’s first habit of highly effective people. Rather than the usual reactive approach of waiting until a problem arises and then reacting to it, teaching occurs at the outset so young people always have something upon which to reflect.
Coercive (punishments) and manipulative approaches (rewards) are not used. Both rely on an external agent. Use of these approaches require an adult to be present. However, a person’s influence is judged more on what others do when the person is not present than when the person is present.
Rewards and punishments are different sides of the obedience coin. Rewards ask, “What do you want me to do and what do I get if I do it.” Punishments ask, “What do you want me to do, and what happens to me if I don’t do it.” Neither approach builds long-term character because they are based on an obedience model, rather than a responsibility model.
Desire, caring, integrity, kindness, generosity, perseverance, and responsibility CANNOT BE MANDATED. These qualities can only be taken, not given by an external agent. Rewards and punishments rely on giving, an external approach. Therefore, by their very nature they cannot achieve the success that an internal approach uses where people WANT to be responsible, WANT to put forth effort to learn, and WANT to the the right thing because it is the right thing to do, rather than what they will receive or what will happen to them.