Have you ever been in charge of a group of children and wondered how to deal with potential discipline problems? Recently, I was asked this very question. Here is a technique I have used for a variety of activities and for all age levels.
The first step is to ensure that all kids clearly understand the rules and expectations for the event or activity. They will also need to be aware of the consequences for not following the rules as well.
Just as in any activity or sporting event, rules and consequences need to be enforced to keep things organized, controlled, and fair to all participants. After all, disruptive behavior is time-consuming and unfair to others. Once the ground rules have been established, I used two different sets of cards to control undesirable behavior should it arise.
If a child’s behavior is undesirable, I would hand this child a yellow card (like in soccer) to serve as a warning. If his/her behavior has not stopped, I then issue a red card which meant that this child must exit the activity and follow the consequences that I had previously established and arranged. (Usually, it is a boring activity that no one wants to do rather than simply a time-out.)
By allowing the child a chance to get his/her behavior back under control with the yellow card, the child most likely adjusts his behavior knowing the consequences of his actions will not be tolerated. This allows the activity to resume with less disruption, and no arguing.
I have also used cards that have been numbered as #1, #2, and #3. The same principle applies. I hand out one card at a time with the idea that three strikes and you are out! With a little pre-planning, any negative situation can be avoided.
As always, feel free to share your ideas, suggestions, and tips.
–Champion Parenting, Inc.