Behavior Management SOS

Discipline for disruptive behavior can be one of the greatest challenges in children’s ministry. Undesirable behavior often distracts other children, causing them to lose focus. Stopping an activity to handle disruptive behavior can diminish the effectiveness of a teaching moment.

To reduce a child’s need to misbehave, make sure your missions group is a nurturing and loving environment where children feel safe, secure, and respected. Use these tips to keep your group sailing on an even keel:

• Invite children to help you create a list of simple classroom rules. This way, your group will have ownership of rules that encourage respect and provide an optimum learning environment.

• Praise children often to reinforce positive behavior. Display a consistent expectation of positive behavior and disapproval of disruptive behavior.

• Redirect a misbehaving child’s attention. Ask him or her a specific question related to the discussion or activity.

• Stand near a child who is being disruptive. Your presence will often discourage unacceptable behavior and refocus the child, without disturbing your teaching momentum.

• Speak in a calm voice if you must remind a child of your group's rules and discourage negative behavior.

• Meet with parents if a child’s negative behavior persists or is harmful to other children. Establish a behavior-management plan together.

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