Discipline to Promote Responsibility & Learning

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Dr. Marvin Marshall’s Blog

One Strategy to Reduce Perfectionism in Youth

Perfectionism plagues many students. While wanting to do a good job is indeed an important trait, sometimes it can go to the extreme. When this occurs, it takes students very long to complete their work. Neatness and precision are imperative to perfectionists. Whatever they are working on must look right—by their perception—before they can move on. This ultimately hinders their progress and results in frustration on the … [Read more...]

You Have More Choices than You Think

You've undoubtedly heard the phrase "Think Outside the Box." But why is the box even there in the first place? We think in the box because it is the only box given us. That is, our thoughts almost automatically become restricted to that which is presented to us. For example, the mother asks the youngster whether he would prefer fish or liver for dinner. Sometimes neither of the options is preferable, but we have a … [Read more...]

Switching from Imposing Discipline to Promoting Responsibility

No one has an inherent desire to obey—to be told what to do—not even children. However, when responsibility is promoted, obedience follows as a natural by-product. Of course, learning how to promote responsibility in others takes practice and patience. Going from the mindset of imposing discipline to one of promoting positivity, asking reflective questions, and offering guides choices takes time. No matter how long … [Read more...]

Discipline and Learning in a Multi-Cultural Classroom

Today’s global society gives our youth a perspective and insights into other cultures that were simply not possible a few generations ago. With so many families moving around the world for employment opportunities, it’s not uncommon to see classrooms with multi-cultural members. Students born and raised in the United States are sharing the classroom with children born in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. And if the … [Read more...]

Punishment in Los Angeles Schools

A recent headline in the Los Angeles Times proclaimed, “L.A. Unified school police to stop citing students for minor offenses.” The article cites the example of Michael Davis who experienced firsthand the effects of coercive discipline when he received a police citation for tardiness in middle school and later was removed from class for failing to wear the school uniform in a South Los Angeles high school. This is a … [Read more...]

How to Stop Classroom Disruptions

A teacher who practices the Discipline Without Stress methodology recently told me about an interaction in her classroom and wondered how she could improve. Here’s what happened. She explained that she has a few children in her class who persist in behaving at Level B, even after she has “checked for understanding” and has proceeded with “guided choices.” On the day we spoke, she said that she had told one of her … [Read more...]

Discipline and the Strong-Willed Child

A parent recently contacted me asking for advice. She said that her first grade daughter got in trouble at school (on the very first day of class) because the child is very strong-willed and refused to obey her teacher. Since the teacher was not using the Raise Responsibility System, she naturally resorted to traditional and punitive discipline techniques, which only resulted in the child declaring that she hated school … [Read more...]

Improve Children’s Attitude Toward School

Many parents lament that their children’s attitude about school is that they only want to get by with the minimum. Even if the youth does the assigned homework, they often forget to turn it in. Their teachers often report that these are intelligent children, yet they are not doing well in their studies. Does this sound familiar? What’s a parent to do? When I talk to these parents, I often point out that the problem lies … [Read more...]

Change Your Relationships by Changing Yourself

If you look around at your family, friends, and co-workers, you will see that the happiest people are the ones who don’t pretend to know what’s right for others and don’t try to control anyone but themselves. You will further see that the people who are most miserable are those who are always trying to control others. Even if they have a lot of power, such as over students, the constant resistance in some form by the … [Read more...]

Thinking, Beliefs, and Learning

I often write and talk about helping students avoid victimhood-thinking. But it’s equally important for teachers to avoid the victimization mentality as well. Thinking like a victim is toxically disempowering. Empowerment is so much more effective. And even if it were not, you would still be happier in an empowerment mode than in a victimhood mode. While many teachers believe that they do avoid such negative thinking, … [Read more...]