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Disciplining the Disruptive Student

 —  November 14, 2012 — 3 Comments

There’s a student causing a commotion in the room – what do you do? This simple and easily-remembered punch list (I think the first 3 are of Kurt Johnston origin with a new 4th “R” from me) will help you or your volunteers handle the situation well:

Request – this is the simple ask for improved behavior. This is almost always the right first step. I like one comment yesterday to a post saying give them “the eye” as a ‘pre-talking to’ move.

Reseat – move them closer to the leader or away from their partner in crime. I like to think of this as “within reach factor” or where a swift elbow to the ribs will bring him into line.

Remove – you may have to remove them from the situation. Remove them for a few minutes, or the rest of youth group, maybe take them home, or ask them to take a few weeks off. Removal is a necessary part of handling something like this. Lead with grace here and you won’t have regrets.

Relay – involve the parents. Make sure the parents are in the loop and ask them to partner with you on making sure the disruptive behavior doesn’t happen again.

If it is a new student, show more grace while they learn the culture of church and what is expected of them. Be quick to discipline a known offender, be slow to disciplining someone who you don’t have a relationship with at all. You may want to check out this older post called How to Remove a Student from Your Small Group as well. Other thoughts – remember they have to start with R?


Josh Griffin


3 responses to Disciplining the Disruptive Student

  1. Rally – what is rewarded will be repeated (is that enough R’s?). Really focus on any win the disruptive student has and publicly/privately share about that win. I love the fact you added about those who don’t know church culture….well done. Great post that I will share with the team!

  2. Rebuke! Holding a crucifix in your left hand while placing your right hand on the student’s forehead, call the demon by name and demand it to return to the nether regions. kidding… great list!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. 4 Step Process for Behavior Management « onthegrowingedge.com - January 24, 2013

    […] To help our small group leaders stay in control, we use simple a four step process for behavior management (4 R’s inspired by Josh Griffin’s post on his blog at MoreThanDodgeball.com). […]

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