Stress Management Monthly Newsletter

1. Quote of the Month

2. Stress Management Video

"Rules Create Stress"

Would you believe that an absence of classroom school rules is far better than having classroom rules? When you understand the difference between classroom rules and procedures you will understand why my 5 simple rules are so effective. You will also understand the reason that my basic rules are essentially rules for life

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3. Parenting Without Stress

It can be quite stressful for parents to know how to discipline a child. Those who are religiously oriented sometimes turn to the Bible to defend their reasons for spanking. Let’s take a quick moment to understand what the Bible might have really been saying—from the King James Version, Psalm 23. “The Lord is My Shepherd,” contains the phrase: “I will fear no evil for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

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4. Discipline Without Stress

A friend of mine discovered "Disciplining Without Stress" on the Internet. The title of the post is "Theory Presentation: Marvin Marshall." Gentry Pier created and posted it on February 2013.

I found it amazingly interesting and accurate. The Jerry Seinfeld video of Level C (following or conforming to what others do) is hilarious. If you want to gain a clear understanding of the totally noncoercive but never permissive discipline system used around the world, take a look at "Theory Presentation: Marvin Marshall".

Below is the Seinfeld clip that shows Level C (Conforming) on full display - enjoy!

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5. Living Without Stress Tip

Here are three situations. The first: Assume for a moment that you are looking forward to watching a special program on television. You have had your dinner, are comfortably reclining, and engrossed in the program. The telephone rings. You can respond by answering the phone call, or letting it ring, or having the telephone-answering device respond to it. Here is a second situation: You are in your residence and hear the doorbell ring. Your natural response is to see who is at the door. In the third situation, you are driving and approaching a red light; your natural response is to stop. Your initial three responses to (1) answer a ringing phone, (2) see who is at the door, or (3) stop at a red light are all actually responses to stimuli. They are external sources that prompt—but do not cause—your response. The critical understanding is to be aware that stimuli do not make you respond.

I used to travel to New York City each month for three years to work with a client. While there, I would visit my cousin, a senior editor for a major worldwide business magazine. Obviously, my cousin was a sharp guy. Even so, I was not successful in convincing him that the ringing of the phone, the ringing of a doorbell, or seeing a red light were simply information—that they were not automatically controlling his behavior.

Compare this with the man who was a houseguest at his friend’s home, many years ago before telephone-answering devices were around. As the two friends talked, the phone began ringing. The host ignored it and kept on talking. The guest, desiring to have the phone answered, became progressively anxious as the phone continued to ring. Finally, he blurted out, “Aren’t you going to answer the phone?” “No,” his host replied. “I installed the phone for my convenience, and it isn’t at my convenience to answer it now.”

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6. Improving Relationships

As you’ve undoubtedly noticed, no two children (or adults for that matter) are the same. Each individual, young or old, views the world differently, interacts with others in a distinctive way, and processes information uniquely.

Differences are good. It would be boring if everyone acted, behaved, and thought the same way. But sometimes, interacting with people who are vastly different from you (as with many parent/child relationships) can be stressful.

Noticing behavioral styles among people is nothing new. The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung was the first to categorize behavioral styles. Jung postulated that every individual develops a primacy in one of four major behavioral functions: intuiting, thinking, feeling, and sensing. If you and others operate from different behavioral styles, friction and stress can easily result.

Realize, though, that no style is good or bad, right or wrong. There is not one style that is better or worse than another; they are simply different.

You can discern children’s styles by watching them and examining how they process experiences. In the PARENTING WITHOUT STRESS PERSONALITY BEHAVIOR STYLES ASSESSMENT we use the four style descriptions of Thinker, Feeler, Doer, and Relater. Visualize a directional scale with a thinker in the north, a feeler in the south, a doer in the west, and a relater in the east.

A thinker (north) analyzes and processes using a great deal of thought. A feeler (south) is directed through emotions more than through cognition. A doer (west) is orientated toward results, while a relater (east) is into relationships. Since directions are not limited to north, south, east, and west, think in terms of general areas or neighborhoods, such as the north and west, south and east, etc.

A parent who is aware of styles has a decided advantage in relating to and communicating with the child. The same holds true for a husband and wife. For example, just knowing that your spouse wants time to relate can prompt you to redirect an impulse to “get on with a task.” Such knowledge can help you take time to listen.

In short, being aware of styles enhances communications. When you observe a youth’s style and start relating with this understanding, you will experience less stress and more joy in your parenting and in other relationships.

For more information about the four styles, and to take an online assessment that will help you determine your own style, see

7. Increasing Effectiveness

A school principal contacted me for advice. He was trying to put together a way for the teachers at his school to reflect on their year and to self-evaluate. He wanted it to be something that was doable, that wouldn’t feel overwhelming in its scope or the time it would take for them to complete, and that would feel meaningful and help guide their work for the following year.

My suggestion was this: Pose the following question to your teachers. “If I were a student, would I want me as a teacher? If yes, list the reasons. If no, list the reasons.

Of course, this question isn’t just for teachers. You can re-frame it for any situation or relationship, as in:

  • If I were a child, would I want me as a parent?
  • If I were an employee, would I want me as a boss?
  • If I were married, would I want to be married to me?

You’ll find that a little self-reflection goes a long way to your future success.

8. Promoting Responsibility


Dear Marv: Without what I have learned from you I would never have made it in the long-term sub job in the special education department here at school.

At times I was alone with children who were constantly punished and rewarded. I started by not doing any of it but asking questions and having them reflect. They learned that no matter what they did I would not react to their behaviors—except to ask if what they were doing was appropriate and responsible.

Before long, I could predict their behaviors with others and with me. I was stress free and wondered how some of these teachers survived their tense stress they put upon themselves by being controlled by aberrant student behaviors.

In addition, they struggled to keep track of the various bookkeeping plans to reward student behaviors. Some even had a separate book for the reward plans in which was kept a log of how many “gives” and “takeaways” each student had. Incredible!

When I get my next classroom, which I expect next year, I will start and end with the ABCD’s of the RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM.

9. Promoting Learning

If you are a teacher, administrator, or have any other leadership role in education, you have a professional responsibility to learn how to create stress-free classrooms. Bribing to control (as in PBIS) creates competition and stress—as well as Restitution and any other program using external motivational models or theories.

You should know how to handle every discipline or behavior problem simply and easily using internal motivation to promote responsible behavior—simply because our democracy depends on this characteristic.

The above link explains:

  • Three universal practices to reduce stress and increase effectiveness,
  • The only totally non-coercive but never permissive discipline system,
  • The classroom management key to make instruction efficient, and
  • How to use internal motivation to increase academic achievement.

Finally, take a moment to visit the eLearning course,

Discounts are available during the summer months. Write to

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10. Promoting Learning

Every child is an artist according to Pablo Picasso. The problem is how to remain an artist as youngsters mature. Here is a classic story about the difference between positivity vs. negativity on the subject.

In first grade, Mr. Smith said my purple tepee wasn’t realistic enough—that purple was no color for a tent, that purple was a color for people who died, that my drawing wasn’t good enough to hang with the others. I walked back to my seat counting the swish swishes of my baggy corduroy trousers. With a black crayon, nightfall came to my purple tent in the middle of an afternoon.

In second grade, Mr. Jones said, “Draw anything.” He didn’t care what. I left my paper blank and when he came around to my desk, my heart beat like a tom-tom while he touched my head with his big hand and in a soft voice said, “The snowfall. How clean and white and beautiful.”

11. Resources

Learn how to ALWAYS stay in authority WITHOUT using bribes to control, threats, imposing punishments, or any other coercive or EXTERNAL motivational approach at

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For personal COACHING or STAFF DEVELOPMENT, send email to with "Info" in the subject line. If you want a group Internet session at no charge, just let me know your date and time preference using Pacific time zone.

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Dr. Marvin Marshall

PO Box 11
Cypress, CA


Phone: 1.714.220.1882