Discipline to Promote Responsibility & Learning

Dr. Marvin Marshall’s Blog

Teens and Parents

A teenager recently contacted me with the following comments:“I am a 17 year old with ‘determined they are good at parenting’ parents. I tried to encourage my parents to read your book and they refused. So I brought up the fact that they ‘try to teach me with imposed consequences rather than contingencies.’ I was then ridiculed and belittled by my dad. (How's that for “good parenting”?) He said that if I were mature … [Read more...]

The Discipline of Practice

How are you multiplying your effect on others? Take the practice of positivity, for example.Are you making it a practice to self-talk in positive ways—always attempting to make any lemon into lemonade?With friends talking about others, are you focusing on good traits of others rather than always focusing on negative ones?When conversing with parents, are you helping them redirect negative, coercive thoughts by prompting … [Read more...]

Promote Responsibility with Small Steps

Although fear is usually just negative self-talk about a perceived situation, there are times when it is most difficult to think that it is not real. So rather than attempting to eradicate your fear, warm up to it.We can learn from our children. Children don’t say, “I can’t because I’m afraid.” For example, a youngster will get on a high diving board and dive off even though she has never done it before. She’ll run to the … [Read more...]

Would Your Students Leave You If They Could?

Many years ago, the former Secretary of Education, William Bennett, was asked by a 7th grader, “How can you tell a good country from a bad one?”Dr. Bennett replied, “I apply the ‘gate’ test. When the gates of a country are open, watch which way the people run. Do they run into the country or out of the country?”The question was an excellent one and prompted an excellent response. I think the same question could be applied … [Read more...]

Action Leads to Responsibility

If you reflect on your self-talk, you will conclude that your thoughts often involve past experiences or future visions. However, what you are choosing to do in the present is often done nonconsciously. Taking action is a current activity—not a past or future one. In addition, action requires more than thought. For example, if there are three frogs on a lily pond and one decides to jump, you may conclude—in error—that … [Read more...]

A Simple Way to Increase Learning

To truly teach someone something, you need to do more than just recite information. Any parent or teacher instinctively knows this. Yet, many still struggle with getting their children and students to put forth the effort to actually learn something new. Here’s the best way to increase learning. When you present something, follow this teaching formula: WHAT it is you will explain.WHY it is important to know about it.HOW … [Read more...]

Start the Day with Positivity

Why start the morning as a “downer” when you can start your day in a positive, pleasant way! Here is a little procedure you can use. Get up 20 minutes earlier than you need to do. Before turning on the TV, reading your email, or browsing the news sites—all of which can be full of discouraging news—read something uplifting. The positive energy engendered will carry you through the day so that any situation you encounter … [Read more...]

Teaching Essentials

Curriculum, Instruction, Classroom Management, and DisciplineJoin successful teachers who understand the differences to pinpoint a problem. Curriculum refers to what is taught.Instruction has two parts: teaching and learning(1) what the teacher does and (2) what the students do.Classroom Management deals with how things are done. It's about practicing procedures until they become routines. Classroom management is … [Read more...]

How Teachers Can Ease Homework Struggles

Homework is a hot topic for teachers. In fact, I get asked about this topic several times each week. The most common question is, “How do you encourage kids to do homework?” Many teachers reveal that they feel as if they are constantly chasing after students to do it. Additionally, they think it’s a reflection of their teaching if student don’t put forth the effort into doing homework. In order to differentiate between … [Read more...]

A Reflective Question to Change Your Thoughts

There are emotional challenges that all of us have, even children. One of the challenges pertains to worrying about the future. Worry is fear of the unknown. Even more important to realize is that worry is actually negative self-talk. Additionally, if you reflect on the things that you have worried about, you will conclude that they rarely occurred in reality. As with worry, some people live with past failures, with … [Read more...]