Discipline on the Bus

Dave Smith

I. Four Reasons Children Misbehave

A. Boredom

B. Tension

C. Desire for attention

D. Lost and need Jesus

II. You Must Control the Children or They Will Control You

III. You Do This By

A. Having Bus Rules (You do what works for you)

1. No heads and hands out the window

2. Everybody must be seated

3. No cursing

4. No loud speech

5. No hitting other riders

6. Everybody Participate

7. Must go to class

B. Infraction of these rules may result in suspension

1. Suspensions may be for 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks

2. After repeated suspensions, you may have to make an elimination

3. Always remember to tell the children, ‘When you do not obey, you are deciding not to attend’

C. Rules must be enforced or you have no rules

D. The program on the bus is the main thing that will prevent discipline problems

1. Children must be kept busy or they will get busy on their own (i.e. discipline problems)

2. Make the program lively and exciting

IV. Additional Helps to Aid in Discipline

A. Do not continue to bring disruptive riders

1. One rider is not worth 20 riders

2. You will lose your good kids

B. Change riders seating arrangements on the bus

C. Be prepared – Prepare yourself spiritually, mentally and physically

D. Be fair – be impartial

E. Be consistent – You must keep after it, not one Sunday and not the next, etc.

F. Use common sense

G. Don’t threaten what you won’t carry out

H. Use your voice to your advantage – Raise your voice, then lower it

I. Be flexible, what can happen, will happen

J. Reject bad behavior, not the child

K. Don’t expect perfection

L. Be positive – you and the Lord can do it

M. Don’t punish in the heat of anger

N. Don’t punish the whole bus for the bad behavior of a few riders

O. Be a happy person with a sense of humor

P. Be firm ‘ don’t let them run over you

Q. Each rider is different

R. Don’t try to be a kid; you will destroy your authority

S. Be poised; don’t become easily out of control

V. Additional Tips

A. Reprimand in private, if possible

B. Focus on a child’s strong points

C. Learn to listen to verbal facial expressions

D. Do not ridicule

E. Don’t put off needed discipline

F. Don’t argue with riders

G. Know your parents

1. You need to know which ones will support you

2. You need to know which parents will pull them off the bus with the slightest discipline problem

H. Allow children to save face (make things right)

I. Set the climate by a warm, friendly, loving welcome from the door to the bus

J. Don’t do things on the bus that ‘could stir riders up’ which would lead to problems

K. Look at yourself – you are the key

L. Let the children know you love them

M. Pray for the children with whom you have discipline problems

The article ‘Discipline on the Bus’ written by Dave Smith was excerpted from www.childrensministry.com website.

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, ‘Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.’