Classroom Discipline Tips for Children & Youth Workers, Sunday School & Other Bible Teachers

Try to determine the root cause of the misbehavior.

Good corrective methods of disciplining must deal with the real problem not just the symptoms.
Don't just put a Band-Aid on a problem Until you do, the problem may keep reoccurring. You may be successful at externally controlling the child but if the real problem is not addressed, the child will internally develop deficiencies which will cause him to be stuck spiritually or psycho-socially. These problems could follow them into adulthood.
How you respond to their behavior may be influenced by the cause.

  • Is their conduct defiance or a lack of understanding?
  • Is it behavior common to their age level?
  • Is there a physical problem such as lack of sleep, illness, or malnutrition, that is affecting the emotional and spiritual?
  • Are there unmet needs of some sort?

To gain a better understanding of the reason for a particular behavior, try viewing the situation through the child's eyes. What makes sense to a child may not make sense to an adult. What is important to a child may not seem significant to you. A child does not have the maturity or mental capacities to properly interpret events that have happened to him. Listen to the child. Allow him to communicate his view of reality.

Click below for help in discerning possible root causes of misbehavior:
Discipline Issues: What to Do About Specific Challenges

Recognize, however, that inappropriate behavior must be dealt with regardless of the cause. A child will never learn proper coping methods if a teacher or parent responds out of pity.

Empathize with the child but follow through
with consequences appropriate to the offense.

Ask God how you can help the child overcome any deep-rooted difficulties but do not give the child the impression that sinful behavior, regardless of its cause, is ever excusable.

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(Last updated 5/01/17)

For more training to help you with Classroom Discipline:

Handbook on Classroom Discipline      Effectively Handling Classroom Discipline Workbook

Biblical Authority versus the Authoritarian and Permissive Teachers Worksheet

Learn the difference between Biblical Authority versus the Authoritarian and Permissive Teachers Worksheet and the implications for your teaching.

Discipline Issues

Think through the challenges, causes, corrective measures, and ways to circumvent 56 different discipline issues using the one page sheets in the Discipline Issues: What to Do About Specific Challenges resource.


And, click below to read helpful articles on classroom discipline: