Issues: Gross, Hitting, Inappropriate, Jealousy

This is the continuation of a series where we are sharing tips and tricks for dealing with common kidmin discipline issues.  Many of these answers were compiled by a roomful of people who work and serve in the trenches.  You can see the other posts here and here and here.

Gross

Proactive:

–  Be prepared for the lesson and recognize points in the story that may lead to gross comments and noises and giggles from the little people.

Do’s:

–  Recognize that “gross” is the preferred language of most elementary boys.  Remind them of what is appropriate for church and what is not.

–  Separate kids from activities when their focus becomes gaining attention by gross noises/conversation.

Don’ts:

–  Don’t stop the whole class for minor issues that only bother you.

–  Don’t draw too much attention or you will have a roomful of 4th grade boys trying to out-gross each other and you!

Discipleship:

–   I often say that there are certain details and stories in the Bible that God put in there for fourth grade boys.  If this is your audience, help them see that the Bible is “cool” by including some of the ooey, gooey details.

 

Hitting

Proactive:

–  Establish a “hands to yourself” expectation throughout the ministry.

Do’s:

–  Have a zero tolerance policy for kids hurting one another.  Address immediately.

–  Use positive phrases, “We use our hands to help not to hit.”

–  Discuss alternatives to solving problems rather than using hands.

Don’ts:

–  Never, ever use physical consequences to punish children.

–  Do not tell the child who was hit to “toughen up”.

Discipleship:

–  Situations like this can produce great conversations about the Golden Rule and also about turning the other cheek.

 

Inappropriate Behavior

Proactive:

–  Set specific expectations for adults and kids on appropriate ways to interact with each other.  Adults should be trained on appropriate ways (side hugs, no sitting in laps, no touching anywhere that would be covered by a swimsuit) to show attention and what to do when kids try inappropriate ways.

–  Always have a female in the classroom.

Do’s:

–  Communicate with a child why their behavior is inappropriate.

–  Share that everyone has different roles and not everyone can do everything they want.
Don’ts:

–  Don’t assume that inappropriate talk or behavior is a deeper issue, but do pay attention to red flags.

 

Jealousy

Proactive:

–  Try to set up activities where everyone has a role.

Do’s:

–  Listen to a child’s feelings without discounting them.

–  Share that everyone has different roles and not everyone can do everything they want.
Don’ts:

–  Don’t give into a child’s jealousy and give them whatever they want.

–  Don’t ever compare kids against each other or show favoritism that will encourage jealousy.

Discipleship:  

–  Life is not always fair, but God is always good.

 


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