Five Ways to Get Kids to Shut Up!

Admit it!  I got your attention with that title.  Who says that sort of thing when they work in children’s ministry?

That answer is – no one says it, but I am willing to venture a guess that most of us have thought it at one point or another.  So, here are five simple things you can do to keep most kids in your ministry quiet:

1. Keep them Engaged

When kids are engaged they are much less likely to talk and cause problems.  This isn’t always true, but it holds up as a general rule.  So, make sure you’re presenting the Gospel and the Bible faithfully, but also make sure you are doing it in a way that kids are engaged.  Get them involved, have some fun, convey the excitement and your issues with kids talking at the wrong time will decrease.

2. Have Clearly Defined Rules and Consequences

Come up with a short list of rules for your class.  Keep it simple, but make sure being quiet when they’re supposed to is one of the rules.  Also have a very concise and clear consequence pattern.  Go over both of those every week so the kids know what is expected and know what will happen with they don’t follow the rules.

3. Give them Time To Talk

Build time into your lesson when they have the chance to talk.  Ask questions, get them involved in presenting the lesson, have an upbeat worship time.  Give them an outlet to speak and they will be less likely to talk when you don’t want them to.

4. Build a Relationship

Kids will have a lot easier time interrupting you and being disrespectful when you don’t have a personal relationship with them.  Build a relationship and speak into their lives, and you will be amazed at the difference in their behavior.

5. Whisper

No really!  Try it sometime when your classroom is really really loud.  No matter how much they want to talk, kids also want to know what is going down.  As they get louder, you get softer in your voice.  When it works, it’s magic!  The kids will stop talking because when you’re whispering they want to hear


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