A couple of weeks ago, we were finishing up our Wednesday night program. It was that time of the night where we share some final announcements before car line dismissal begins.
I took a minute to ask HiSKidZ if I had told them I loved them yet that day, and quickly added, “Because I do–more than Oreos!”
They all know I love Oreos, and that I have to be careful not to get too close to a bag of them. I use Oreos for all kinds of illustrations about temptation, sin and love!!
Of course, as the banter grew, the volume did, too–right when we needed things to settle down so they could hear their names called as their parents arrived. I quickly explained to them I needed them to be quiet as “Mr Dave” started car line.
At this moment I uttered the words, “I need you to be as quiet as. . . as quiet as. . . “
My mind began to freeze as I couldn’t really come up with something for them to be as quiet as. I thought about Oreos, but honestly, when you eat an Oreo, it isn’t always quiet!! They are crunchy little cookies! Dunking doesn’t really help because you hear the chug-a-glug of the swallow. Oreos would not do.
And so I made this statement, “I need you to be quiet as . . . .quiet as. . . .PIE!”
Yeah, pie! I can’t explain it, either.
Honestly, they were as surprised as I was! It was like the whole room became silent at the same moment, and all eyes focused directly on me. But, no one could argue that pie is about as quiet as it gets.
Then, amazingly, for the next 10-15 minutes as we dismissed, our small groups were indeed as quiet as pie. Not a peep. Not even one!
As I saw them respond so well, I sweetened the deal by telling them that the small groups that stayed quiet would receive their own package of Oreos for snack the next week. I didn’t expect that I would be buying Oreos for each of our groups, but I did! Because really, truly, every single child and leader was as “quiet as pie.”
Now, I can’t tell you that if you tell your kids to be “quiet as pie,” that they will all be quiet for 15 minutes, but here are three ways you can help regain classroom or group control when needed.
- Be creative. Don’t just do the same ole, same ole. Ask God to fill your mind with creative ways to help your children gain or regain self-control.
- Be fun. Find something they don’t expect, and make it fun.Google ways to gain classroom control for some ideas that may work for your kids.
- Reward, don’t bribe. Set a standard and then consider adding a reward. Be careful not to send the message of “If you, then I’ll. . .” Instead, use “Because you, I’m going to. . .”
Setting an appropriate, respectful standard for the kids you lead is a win for you and for them, and a great night within safe and honoring boundaries is better than a bag of Oreos!!!