10 Ways to Guide a Child’s Behavior

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Help kids guide their behavior.The average children’s pastor has a child for a few hours a week, the rest of his time is divided between school, family and probably video games. Kids, like little sponges, pick up a lot from their surroundings like words they should not hear, actions you wish they wouldn’t see and the list goes on and on. While we only have a short time with kids, we can guide a child’s behavior to follow a godly example. Partner with parents and other teachers and together, you can turn a discipline problem around.
1. Reflect Jesus. Show love to everyone. Let kids see you live what you preach. Guiding a child’s behavior all begins with setting a good example.
2. Meet with all kids ‘ministry leaders to create central guidelines. Get everyone on the same page. While you want to focus on good behavior, you have to prepare for the bad instances too. Talk about specifics like bringing weapons, threatening others or endangering others. Decide what the procedure will be for reviewing cases of bad behavior and who will review them, like the senior pastor, counseling staff or the children’s director.
3. Remember, they are kids. They will misbehave occasionally so don’t be shocked when even the most behaved child gets a bit carried away from time to time.
4. Keep order. Plan for everything—including unexpected free time activities.
5. Understand child culture. Can you identify the top pop culture stars and shows? You don’t have to pick up bad television habits but you should visit the Disney Channel every so often. Understanding influences on a child will help you guide behavior.
6. Hold kids accountable for their actions. When kids aren’t held accountable for their actions, they have no motivation to correct it. Don’t give parents a sad report every time they come to pick up their child but do make them aware of serious issues that need their attention.
7. Give children role models. Kids need positive male and female role models. Recently, I asked different teens in our church to speak to our kids for two minutes on the subject of taking your faith to school. Our kids really loved hearing and seeing great role models.
8. Acknowledge good behavior. Yep! Positive reinforcement works wonders. Shower kids with praise when they remember the memory verse, help others and demonstrate the Golden Rule.
9. Think about the child’s home life. You don’t want to pry but can’t help but notice that Junior’s mom dropped him off wearing a tube top and a micro skirt. He’s constantly rebellious and challenges the female staff constantly. Could be signs of an unhappy home life. While a troubled home life is not an excuse for bad behavior it does make a difference. Consider a child’s home life when dealing with behavior.
10. Participate! Get involved with your child. Don’t just preach at them, be one of them!


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