Marvin Marshall’s Discipline Without Stress

By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | May 13, 2015

Many parents struggle to find the perfect method for bringing up children with the least amount of aggravation as possible. Oh, and it has to be simple. With my own children, I used a mishmash of various ideas that seemed practical to me – as long as it was non-violent. My mantra… “Do what works.” After my girls were almost grown I found every parent’s dream – Dr. Marvin Marshall.

Dr. Marvin Marshall is one of my favorite child discipline professionals today. His focus is not on getting kids to obey, the approach is on getting children to become more responsible without coercion. His methods can help many parents but it requires learning and thought. From what he says in the newsletter I believe he takes questions from parents as well. Here are three short snippets from Dr. Marvin Marshall’s latest newsletter I would like to share these gems with you:

Dr. Marvin Marshall – Discipline Without Stress for Teachers and Parents



How would you use reflective questions with a seriously disordered youngster, say conduct-disordered or even anti-social personality disorder, to encourage them to reflect on their behaviors, and, hopefully, begin a better plan.


Start by asking a series of questions where the student will reply “Yes.” Examples:

“Would you like to be in charge of what you do?”
“Would you like to have your teacher give you a choice of what to do?”
“Would you like to have a friend or two whom you can talk with when you feel bad?”

Then ask, “What needs to change to have these happen?”

Elicit a response. Then collaboratively develop a procedure (it can be a visual one) so that the youth knows exactly what to do if the situation in question occurs again. And if it does–and we know it will–then reference can be made to the procedure. If necessary, collaboratively develop another procedure. Persevere!
You may want to add a phrase I use at the end of my presentations: “Extend Yourself!”


When dealing with young people, the advantage of giving three (3) options is that it reduces all coercion. This is especially the case with the “passive-aggressive” or “oppositional-defiant.” These young people often get their “power” by resisting. When three options are in play, the perception of coercion disappears. (So often these young people are prompted by “counterwill”–the natural human tendency to resist control of any kind.)

The conversation goes like this, “Would you rather complete the form by yourself, with someone to help you, or what would you suggest?” Usually, I would give two options and then say, “Or what would you suggest?”

The point is that with so many people, offering two (2) choices is still felt to be coercive. Offering three choices–especially if the third is elicited from the student–significantly reduces the feeling of being coerced or controlled.


Some young people are spending an inordinate amount of time watching television or playing with technical devices. When the situation is such where you believe these excessive activities are not in their best interest, ask, “How will this make you happier or a more responsible person?”

Here are two recent Marvin Marshall newsletters:

Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – APRIL 2015

Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – March 2015

Please sign up for Dr. Marvin Marshall’s monthly, informative newsletter and you will not be disappointed.

NOTE: Dr. Marvin Marshall and I have no financial arrangement other than my buying a few books. I recommend his newsletter because the FREE tips have enormous value for parents. His method has many reviews and testimonials that can be viewed on his website.

PHOTOS: All images courtesy of Dr. Marvin Marshall.

Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.

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About Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

Jackie has volunteered for more than twenty years for children and family issues. Currently she writes for parents in the "Reminder" and "Parent Rap" Facebook page. If you are interested in receiving the "Reminder," send her a message.
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2 Responses to Marvin Marshall’s Discipline Without Stress

  1. As ever, Jackie, sensible and intelligent
    i like your “Do What Works” approach – such good common sense..
    and Dr Marshall sounds like a person with something genuinely good to offer.

    Best Wishes



    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Thank you so much, John. Dr. Marshall is a communication master; he makes children want to behave well.
      Again, thank you.

      Kindest regards,


      Liked by 1 person

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