How to avoid a galactic KidMin disaster
“Houston…we have a problem!” If you’ve been a KidMin leader for any length of time, you’ve probably wanted to say something like this. Unfortunately, most of us are flying solo and don’t have a ground control to call into. Kids are great and well behaved most of the time, but problems still occur. Here are some things you can do to help prevent or address problems: Establish rules. If you haven’t already, work with your leaders to come up with a short list of rules for the room. It might be something as simple as “Be Kind” (listen quietly and treat others with respect) and “Be Safe” (keep your hands to yourself and follow instructions carefully). Communicate the rules to your kids. Kids can’t abide by your expectations if they don’t know what they are. For younger kids, you may want to go over the rules weekly. For older kids, you might visit them once a month. Have consequences. What good are rules if there aren’t any consequences for breaking them? An example of consequences might be something like “3 strikes”. Strike 1 is a warning. Strike 2 is a time-out on the wall. Strike 3 involves calling the parents out of service to pick up their kid. Again, if you haven’t already, work with your leaders to establish the consequences that work best for your ministry. Don’t be afraid to enforce the rules. Inevitably, there will be kids who test the boundaries. When you enforce the rules, most kids will see that you mean business and quickly comply. Moreover, they'll respect and even like you more if they know that you are consistent and fair. Call out the best in kids. Whenever you apply consequences to a kid, it’s a good idea to have a follow-up conversation with them. Make sure they understand what behavior led to the consequences. Be sure to do it with grace, though. Always end by calling out the best in that kid. Tell them you know they can do better and that you look forward to seeing them again.