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Feeling Frazzled? Behaviour Management Strategies

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Feeling Frazzled? or just need some suggestions for working with the different behaviours in your ministry space. Here are some ideas!

Attention Grabbers 

  • Play music. Play a short snippet of lively music for five seconds when you want children's attention.
  • Whisper. Change your tone of voice to a loud stage whisper. Then resume speaking in your regular voice after you get children's attention.

How do I get kids to talk?

Motivate children to share by forming small groups where there's less pressure to perform and more opportunities to share. You could use the same partners each week, so kids get to know their pairs and feel more comfortable. Intentionally match your friendliest and most welcoming kids with more timid kids. Learn all kids names - and use them. Talk about topics that are relevant to kids and that they'll have an opinion on. Create a accepting, friendly atmosphere.

Lower your voice

It's amazing how kids want to know what you're whispering about. Often the children are listening just enough to catth the basics, but are focussing on something else, or talking to someone else.

When you, all of sudden, lower your voice dramatically or stop talking altogether, it will make them pay attention to find out what they've just missed.

To do this properly, first ask for attention at regular volume and wait for it. If the children are not responding - lower your voice dramatically - see what happens.

You could say "if you can hear me, raise your hand'. Some children will immediately raise their hands and others will not. Repeat the phrase several times until all childrens' hands are in the air.

How do I prevent my kids from being sarcastic and putting each other down?

Children put others down to build up themselves, of course, this doesn't work. Instead it leaves them feeling worse than before. Coach them to encourage their peers with kind words and specific, genuine affirmations. They sometimes start by teasing which leads to sarcasm. Make your ministry a "no teasing or put-down zone". This includes your adults. Encourage adults to be good role models by not teasing kids or one another. Many kids don't know how to say "I like you, will you be my friend?" Give them lots of opportunities to get ot know one another. Get adults to guide the process and keep a positive, comfortable atmosphere.

Connect with parents online:

Use email and Facebook to stay in touch with parents. This is an easy and non-threatening way to followup when a child is away for a few weeks.

Kid's program Rules

When it comes to setting up rules, most teachers create their own. Instead, use imperatives from Scripture the next time you need to train a child. The following are biblical corrections for common things kids say.

  • "He hit me first!" -- "Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other..." (1 Thessalonians 5:15).
  • "She's stupid!" -- "Do not let any unwholesome talk come from your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up..." (Ephesians 4:29).
  • "You're not my friend anymore!" -- "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32).
  • "You're not my boss!" -- "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established (Romans 13:1).
  • "Why do I have to do that!?" -- "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus...taking the very nature of a servant" (Philippians 2:5-7).

Category: Training / How-To

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