Difficult Behavior and Transitions

Often it is one or two children who can disrupt an entire RE morning program.  If this is happening week after week, then it is time to look at the program structure.  When are the children having the most difficulty? Is it during discussion time or during transitions, or unstructured active time?  Imaginative, creative, highly active children will invent something to do if they are either bored or have some free time and often what they invent is disruptive.  Always have something for children to do with their hands during times of discussion.  During periods of transition, such as times of gathering or dismissing, always have an activity for the children to do.  Give several warnings as to when there will be a change in activities to comfort children who need to always know what happens next in plenty of time to prepare.  This will smooth the transition time for everyone.

If you still have a child who is overly active and keeps everyone else stirred up, then assign him or her with a special responsibility to carry out each Sunday.  Find within the children what Bob Brooks calls their “island of competence”, that one thing they are proud of or love to do.  For example, if the child likes to care for plants, make them the official plant caretaker for the church and make a being deal out of it so they receive lots of recognition and praise.  So often our most disruptive children rarely receive praise for anything.  Their disruptive behavior will most probably start to disappear.

Categories Tips for Inclusion for Churches | Tags: | Posted on April 20, 2008

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