Direct stress is a motivator and often balances out in a family like a scale. Stress on the scale must be tipped to whoever needs to change. If the disciplinarian is feeling stress, and the child is not, the parent will be motivated to try something else. If the child is feeling stress, and the parent is not, the child will be motivated to try a different way of dealing with the situation.

 To shift the stress to the child, the disciplinarian must discipline while he is still feeling calm. This will automatically mean that he is acting while his side of the scale is still up in the air. Correspondingly the child's side of the scale will be tipped down toward stress, and he will act as if he is stressed out. This is not bad. The child will not like feeling stressed and will become motivated to not repeat the behavior that resulted in him feeling stressed. If the parent is consistent, the child will soon learn that he must follow the established rules if he is not to feel the stress of being disciplined. The key is for a parent to act before his tolerance level is full and while he is still calm.


Stress Level Scale 1:

1----X------------------------------------------10 Parent

10--X---------------------------------------------1 Child

1 = low stress 10 = high stress


In this scale, the parent takes a stand while his tolerance and stress level is low. The parent in this scale can control his tone and actions easily. The child in this scale has nothing to get stressed about except for the natural consequences of breaking a rule that he broke. The parent, who is not expending energy through stress, has the will to keep lovingly putting the stress back on the child until the child takes responsibility and completes restitution (i.e. cleaning up all of the room or all of the spilled milk).



Stress Level Scale 2:

1---------------------------------------------X--10 Parent

10--------------------------------------------X--1 Child

1 = low stress 10 = high stress


In this scale, the parent has waited until his tolerance and stress level is at its highest. The child is aware that the parent is at his limit and after a quick burst of energy manifested in yelling, threats, or spanking the parent will feel drained. The child in this scale is just as upset at the parent as he is at the consequences of breaking the rule. This child can now continue to put the stress onto the parent until the parent gives up for this round or completes the restitution themselves. Even if the parent in this scale succeeds in having the child complete restitution, the parent has expended more energy than the child and will not be able to continue using this method of discipline for the remainder of the day. Eventually, the parent’s energy will run out and the child’s will not.