Dealing with the Root Cause of Problem Behavior
The best way for Sunday School teachers and children and youth workers in other Bible classes to deal with behavioral issues is to first determine the root cause of the problem. Do not assume that the underlying cause is the same for each student. Following are some factors to consider:
-- Human Nature:
- Is the behavior willful defiance stemming from a hardened heart?
- Does the student have the foundation of a salvation experience ... a relationship with the Lord, the Holy Spirit living within ... to motivate and empower him/her to do right?
-- Basic Needs:
- Are physical needs such as sleep, nutrition, and warmth being met?
- Are emotional needs such as security, love, belonging, self-esteem, and personal achievement being met?
-- Developmental Characteristics:
- Has the student developed psychosocially at earlier stages or has he/she become fixated and maladjusted?
- Is the student being expected to do something beyond his abilities and thereby frustrated?
- Is the student being expected to work on something already mastered and thereby bored?
-- Home Background:
- Is the student living with parental addictions or violence in the home?
- Is the student suffering child abuse, neglect, rejection, or even overprotection?
- What are the weaknesses of the student's personality?
- What natural bents predispose the student to certain reactions, etc.?
-- Current Life Events:
- Is the student grieving a loss?
- Are other changes happening in the student's life?
Once you have determined the root cause of behavior problem, you are ready to effectively discipline. Begin by acknowledging what is behind the symptoms and work at resolving the real issues.
The above content is included in the Teaching Ministry Manual along with a list of discipline tips and help for doing a short study on a biblical approach to discipline in contrast to discipline that does not follow after God's ways. Below are more resources to help you with classroom discipline.
Click below for More Help on Discipline:
- 5 Key Elements in an Approach to Classroom Discipline
- An Umbrella for Classroom Discipline
- Classroom Discipline Must Get Beyond
- Hidden Messages in Disciplining
- Ten Things Not to Say When Disciplining
- Discipline Tip - (changes monthly)