Youth Groups and Rules

Running an activity session for a group of youths can be quite the daunting affair, king77 especially when you have no previous relationship with those children. There is the potential for anything to happen, even when you prepare for as many scenarios as you can call to mind. However, it is also a very rewarding and fun challenge.

In order to minimize problems and be able to deal with issues that do arise from time to time, it is necessary to have rules in place. Some might consider rules are simply a vehicle to kill fun, but in fact the opposite is true. Rules establish a set of expectations, puss888 clear to all. Rules give parents an assurance their child will receive just treatment. Rules promise a certain amount of safety for children who have difficulty relating to peers. They also promote fairness and consideration of anyone with whom the youth come into contact. A child without guidelines is more likely to act out, as they seek to find boundaries of their own by testing how far to push a leader before the hammer falls on their head. slot35

However, rules only set in place by group leaders still come under testing from some youth. It is better to set in place guidelines which the youth can own. Before starting an activity, decide on a firm set of guidelines. Start with the obvious, such as respecting others and respecting property. Then, when presenting the rules to the youth at the outset of the event, ask for any additional rules they believe should be included. They will most likely come up with some outlandish ideas, betflix789 but as long as they essentially enforce good behaviour over bad, then there’s no harm to adding them in. Youth are more responsive to abiding by rules when they have an input into their establishment.

Coupled with the rules, there needs to be an understanding of what breaking those rules will entail. If you do not follow through on breaches of those carefully established rules, then the children will soon learn they are there to break. Discipline needs to be firm and fair. zodiac888

For the youth group of eight to sixteen year olds that I run along with my husband, we devised a simple system of discipline. It rewards good behaviour, giving the youth something positive to aim for, rather than always looking at the negative side. We use two ace cards and two joker cards from a deck of normal playing cards. You can use more or less according to the number in your youth group. We typically have 18-25 youth. lucia168

Every good action, such as sportsmanship, helping without being prompted, showing concern for another person, and other things of this nature, earns an ace card. Similarly, infraction of the rules earns the wrongdoer a joker card.

The cards cycle continuously throughout the evening. Once both ace cards are out, the first person who received one is the first person required to give it up to the next good deed. The same happens with the jokers. At the end of the evening, the two people left with ace cards receive a small treat and the jokers have to do the supper dishes. 2xlslo

Sometimes there will be instances when a tougher line of discipline is required for unacceptable behaviour. It is wise to have steps in place to handle this when it does happen. A warning system is fair, and gives each child a chance to change the negative behaviour. We have a standard three strike system. Two verbal cautions and then the third instance is the deal-breaker. The children understand that receiving the third reprimand involves an immediate escort home by a leader. To date, no child has required a second warning. g2g789t

Rules are important for safety and to allow the emphasis to remain on fun for all. With good preparation and visible follow through, youth activities are successful and enjoyable.

 

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