Stress Management Monthly Newsletter

1. Quote of the Month

"The idea of 'success,' for most people revolves around money or the acquisition of property or other possessions, but consider a state of joy as the greatest achievement of success. And while the attainment of money and wonderful possessions certainly can enhance your state of joy, the achievement of a good-feeling physical body is by far the greatest factor for maintaining a continuing state of joy and well-being."

—Esther Hicks

2. Stress Management Video

"Impulse Control and Stress Management"

"LIVE WITHOUT STRESS: HOW TO ENJOY THE JOURNEY" opens with a quotation by American entertainer, George Burns: “If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, tension, and stress. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.” George was right! Watch this very important video.

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3. Parenting Without Stress


I'm wondering if you have any advice for a teen who experienced trauma and reacts very aggressively and with little understanding or remorse for her behavior towards others. She also refuses to accept any responsibility for her behavior. Your advice would be appreciated.


I would ask the teen if she believed that she was the only person who had an experience so bad that she constantly kept thinking about it—that is, no one else ever had a horrible experience.

After recognizing that throughout history others have also had horrible experiences, I would ask her if she thought such people became life-long victims or if they were able to still live happy lives.

I would then make the point that they persevered—that they were resilient—in spite of the bad experience. These people made a positive choice—rather than a negative, victimhood one. 

Without realizing the situation, victimhood thinking is a choice. The fact of life is that choice ends when life ends. The reason is that a person ALWAYS has a choice of reacting to any situation one cannot change, or to any stimulation from an external or internal source, and/or from any urge.

If you have negative thoughts, the key to stop feeling badly is to redirect your thinking. For example, if you think of some music you like, or think of a nice experience you have had, you will have redirected your thinking and the negative feeling will have disappeared. Think of something nice, and you will feel nice (good).

Learn more by linking to PARENTS at

4. Discipline Without Stress


I've been teaching for 30 years and want to express my deep felt thanks for the wisdom and practicality of the Raise Responsibility System. I stumbled upon it in Harry Wong's "First Days of School" and have been steadily implementing it in my middle school art classes. It has been a game changer for my students and for me.

Also, if you know of any presentations, trainings, or groups that I might take advantage of, please let me know. I find the notion of teaching democracy & citizenship more relevant than ever before. I teach in a mostly Latino, high poverty school. The system for behavior management before our current system was called "Make Your Day" which seemed polar opposite to your approach, as it is highly externalized and punitive. Meanwhile, we have adopted PBIS and, while flexible, many teachers rely on points, rewards, and set consequences.

I am finding my students adapting well to the Raise Responsibility System despite its being something only in my class. Day by day, I see your book come alive in my classroom. My relationships with students who dwell "below the line" are improving and I can see them making efforts to upgrade their choices. 

Many thanks!

Adele Caemmerer, Wenatchee Washington. 


Have your students search the Internet for The Raise Responsibility System and for The Hierarchy of Social development.

Regarding training, check out

Regarding helping your Spanish-speaking parents, check out the Spanish version of my parenting without stress book.

5. Living Without Stress Tip

Abraham Lincoln said, "Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be."

There are three practices that show how to accomplish this—from the book, "Live Without Stress."

The first of the three practices is positivity. We know that we do better when we feel good, as contrasted to doing good when feeling bad. With this in mind, Chapter 4, Positivity, teaches us how to talk to ourselves in positive ways and also to communicate in a positive way with others. We learn how positivity is so much more effective and powerful than negativity.

The second practice is the use of choice. We learn that regardless of the situation that we cannot change, or an external stimulus where we usually act reflexively, or an internal impulse or urge, we still have the freedom to choose our responses. Because we have this ability, we never need to feel as victims. In short, choice empowers, as highlighted in Chapter 5, Choice.

The third practice, reflection, is discussed in Chapter 6. Reflection is essential for enjoying the journey of life because it engenders self-evaluation, the critical component for change and an essential ingredient for happiness. Perhaps Stephen Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” made the point most succinctly when he wrote, “In all my experiences, I have never seen lasting solutions to problems, lasting happiness and success, that came from the outside in.”

6. Improving Relationships

Positive people are more likable. Think about the people in your life. Do your favorite people tend to be positive or negative? My guess is that they are the more positive people you associate with.

The fact is that you will be more likable to others when you focus on being positive.

When I was young, my mother often told me that if I can’t say something nice about a person, then don’t say anything at all.

This is great advice, not only for your communications with others, but also with yourself. In other words, if you can’t say (or think) something nice about yourself, then don’t say (or think) anything at all. Instead, exert discipline to turn your thoughts around to positive self-talk.

The practice of positivity, with others and yourself, is so important that it’s the first practice of Discipline Without Stress. The opposite of positivity, of course, is negativity. In building relationships with anyone, negativity is the biggest enemy.

I am reading about the life of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan. The author pointed out that this president brought two characteristics to his presidency: patriotism and positivity. Whether or not you agreed with him, people liked him because of this latter characteristic.

With this in mind, don’t allow negative ideas that pop into your mind to direct your thoughts. Be mindful and use discipline to dismiss them or turn them into a learning lesson. Don’t ingest negativism from those with whom you work, your friends, or your associates. When you see or hear negativity, leave it, or ask yourself, “How can I turn that negative thought around so that it will not affect me in a negative way—or what can I learn from it?

Here is a tip: Strive to always be positive. Not only will you feel better about yourself, but others will view you more favorably, too.

7. Increasing Effectiveness

A mother was late to work every morning because her 10-year-old son was slow to get ready. Rather than yelling, she said, "We need to talk about morning time and cooperation. I need your help because what I’m doing is not working."

Then she asked, "What ideas do you have about reorganizing our morning routine? How about laying out your clothes the night before? What would you think about a five-minute warning before it’s time to leave?"


A wise coach asks questions that are directed to process, rather than content. Effective questions focus on the thinking processes, which underlie behavior, performance, decision, or choice.

Here are some examples:

  1. What would it look like if _____?
  2. What do you think would happen if _____?
  3. What’s another way to approach this?
  4. How would you feel if _____?
  5. What would be your measurement for _____?
  6. What went on in your mind when _____?
  7. What do you think the problem is?
  8. How is this one (way) better than that one (way)?
  9. How (when) might you be able to use this in other situations?
  10. What did you learn from this?

8. Promoting Responsibility

At the heart of the word responsibility is the concept of the ability to respond:


Responsibility is inherently mutual. Jean-Jacque Rousseau stated it well when he proclaimed that there is no meaning of responsibility that does not carry mutuality.

So often we treat and confuse responsibility with obedience—as if responsibility can be imposed. There is a failure in the act of imposing because it lacks mutuality.

Although we think we give responsibility, responsibility is only effective when it is taken.

Therefore, by its very nature responsibility between people is mutual—as are all successful relationships.

Responsibility has a counterpart: accountability. People in superior positions usually tell others what others are accountable for but not what they are accountable for.

If you expect someone to be responsible and would like optimal performance, then share how you will be accountable.

The following seems rather obvious but, when articulated, relationships improve.

A parent is accountable for clothing, food, shelter, encouragement, a loving relationship, trust, and support. The younger is responsible for respect and age-appropriate behavior.

A teacher provides a classroom setting where students will want to spend their time for the meaningful lessons, engaging activities, and enjoyment of learning. Students are accountable for their efforts to learn.

In effect, you are collaborating. By definition, collaboration is mutual. It naturally creates improved relationships.

9. Promoting Learning

When I was teaching English and correcting papers, I did NOT use red pencils for correction. Think about this for a moment: red symbolizes violence, blood, STOP—a whole host of authoritarian, painful associations. On a student’s paper it essentially means: “Here, stupid, is where you were stupid!” Red is negative reinforcement.

(Obviously, red has other interpretations, but I am referring to correcting young people's work.)

I used positive reinforcement to empower my students by looking what was right—and had them correct what needed correcting. Also, since editing is a prime activity to good writing, I used "three before me" before I accepted compositions.

Since we often learn best by teaching, I had my students become teachers. Before I read any student's composition, I had at least two other people check the writing and give the author feedback. Simply stated, after the original writing, two other people needed to give feedback before I would accept the composition. (A parent qualified.)

When final papers were submitted, they were of higher quality and more enjoyable to read.

Also, when papers were submitted, I refrained from correcting them with marks. Instead, I made comments such as, “You have a spelling error in this paragraph,” and “Check for noun-verb agreement in this sentence.” Using abbreviations saved me time. This “grappling” by the students for them to reflect and edit definitely improved the quality and enjoyment of papers I read.

One other point: Although difficult, I was able to get over the idea that I needed to correct or read everything students wrote. I had a number of activities to have my students write. How do you learn to write? By writing! That does not mean that the teacher needs to spend hours correcting everything students write.

10. Resources

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

Without Stress® Books

Live Without Stress:
How to Enjoy the Journey

Soft Cover | eBook | Audiobook

Click to Learn More / Buy ➤

Discipline Without Stress® Punishments or Rewards: How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility and Learning

Hard Cover | eBook

Click to Learn More / Buy ➤

Parenting Without Stress:
How to Raise Responsible Kids While Keeping a Life of Your Own

Hard Cover | eBook | Audiobook

Click to Learn More / Buy ➤

Parenting Without Stress

Soft Cover

Click to Learn More / Buy ➤

Without Stress® eTraining

Discipline Online
(Video On Demand eCourse)

Click to Learn More ➤

11. What People Say

"More important than the reduction in referrals is the understanding of our students that behavior is their responsibility.  They have also come to understand that they have choices they can make when faced with real life situations.  Our staff now feels they can spend more time on teaching and less time on discipline issues."

Alfredo Reyes, Vice-Principal, Sierra Vista Middle School, La Puente, CA

Speaking and Presenting

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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

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Phone: 1.714.220.1882