Dealing with Challenging Behaviors
One of the struggles we often hear from leaders is, “How do I effectively handle negative behaviors like disruption and disrespect from students?” There are tons of “behavior management” systems that you can use (our favorite is the ticket raffle), but ultimately there is no one-size-fits-all solution. These principles are what’s key:
Clarity. Have a plan set in place and communicate it to everyone periodically throughout the year.
- What are the expected behaviors? For large group? Small groups? Game time? You can communicate this through setting club rules or a mission statement.
- What are the consequences for students who don’t follow expectations? Do the kids (and leaders) all know what those consequences are?
- How are you and your team proactively rewarding great behavior?
Which behavior system you use is not that important. What is important is that your team has a plan and that you communicate it clearly. Moral of the story: Don’t make it up as you go!
Consistency. Whatever plan you choose, stick to it! Sometimes, things need to be changed mid-year, but in general you should not let the rules and consequences slide or be constantly changing the expectations. Be consistent and fair in how you handle rewards and consequences. Make sure you are on the same page with your whole team. Moral of the story: Kids will take you seriously when they know you are consistent and fair.
Care. One of the primary goals of a Kids Club is healthy relationships. And as you know, usually the kids who are the most disruptive or disrespectful are the ones who need love the most! Be intentional about showing your kids that you care about them. Exhibit grace and patience with them. Moral of the story: Behavior management tricks won’t change a child’s heart, but your unconditional love for them might.