Friday, January 9, 2009

Sticks and Stones

Image courtesy creative commons license by Chad Fust March 2007

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
Another dear sister (Laura) of mine has raised an important question:
"Do you have any suggestions on what to do when children are completely disrespectful or mean to other children? As a presidency we want to maintain a positive environment as we address this issue but feel that it needs to be addressed as there has been problems both in and outside primary. We have about 120 children between junior and senior primary."

I am going to outline pages 84-87 of Teaching No Greater Call in response. Every single word was written from the source quoted.

"As President Hinckley observed, little problems will inevitably occur. Whether you are teaching in the home or at church, your lessons may at times be disrupted by the behavior of those you teach. In your efforts to help those who become disruptive, remember that you should not simply try to correct inappropriate behavior or make sure everyone is quiet; you should help learners become better disciples of the Savior. The following information will help you handle disruptions in a Christlike way.

1. Remember the worth of souls.
2. Seek to understand those you teach.
*consider all possible reasons for their behavior
3. Evaluate your own efforts.
* When those you teach behave disruptively, it is easy to focus on their conduct and fail to review your own.
* In your efforts to solve problems with disruptions, first consider whether the real source of the problem is something you are doing.
4. Evaluate your motives.
* Only those who are motivated by love will have a positive, powerful influence on those they teach. Pray to be filled with Christlike love toward every person you teach, especially those who sometimes behave inappropriately.
5. Help all class members contribute to a learning atmosphere.
* In a learning atmosphere, we (1) edify each other through our participation, (2) love and help each other, and (3) desire to search for truth together. Quote page 77.
*Elder Henry B. Eyering relates to the love we should feel when we meet to learn the gospel: " Our Heavenly Father wants our hearts to be knit together. That union in love is not simply an ideal, It is a necessity." Quote page 77.
* To teach family members or class members to contribute to a learning atmosphere, consider conducting a discussion using the following suggestions:
- Express your feelings about the gospel, and explain that you want to help others learn gospel truths.
-Discuss the responsibility we have to help one another learn the gospel.
- Talk about the importance of participating in lessons.
- Ask those present to suggest things they can do to help create a learning atmosphere. Quote page 78.
6. Respond in simple ways to occasional disturbances.
7. Make special efforts to help those who persistently cause disruptions.
*If someone is seriously disrupting the learning of others, you should neither ignore the problem nor act in an unkind way.
* D&C 121:41-44 In applying this counsel, it is helpful to understand the words betimes and sharpness. Betimes means promptly or in good time. In this passage, sharpness refers to the need to give clear, well-defined instructions.
*You should be gentle and meek when giving correction. note that reproving should be done only "when moved upon by the Holy Ghost" and should be followed by an increase of love.
* The following suggestions may help you if someone you teach becomes persistently disruptive.
- Speak privately with the person. You should do so tactfully and with love.
Describe the conduct that is disruptive while at the
same time making clear that you love and respect the person.
Ask for the person's support, and try to find solutions together.
Then do all you can to show increased love.
- Seek help from others. Your leaders want to help you with your teaching challenges. You can benefit from their ideas and assistance.
For example, they might ask someone to help with certain activities or sit
next to a child who is misbehaving.
If a child or youth has a pattern of disruptive behavior, seek the help of his or her parents.
If the person causing the disruptions has special needs, learn
what you can do to help him or her learn more effectively and behave more
-Be patient. Remember change takes time. Be consistently positive in your approach to the person. Do not be discouraged in he or she has a negative attitude in class."

Being mean and using unkind words is disruptive. Very much so and should not EVER be tolerated in your safe and loving primary environment. I feel strongly prompted not to share anything else except for what I have outlined from Teaching No Greater Call. Each primary is different and Heavenly Father will help you to know what to do for His little ones in your care.

On that same, but completely different note, I wish to just state why I do not do full outlines of sharing times. I did when I first started this blog, but now I don't. I feel strongly prompted that I shouldn't have detailed lesson plans on this site. When Elder Packer gave the challenge to use blogs in a Christlike manner to share the gospel, I prayed and prayed. I decided I'd do my very best to help little ones come closer to Christ. It's my only desire. I have a harder time having a pure love for adults and freely admit my grievous fault. But with children, there has never been a single one that I haven't adored. Primary fills my heart and soul.


jendoop said...

Love your site, thanks for the springboard of ideas from which I can receive personal direction for our primary.

Your concluding thought in this post resonates with me. When I serve I am filled with love for those I serve. It's loving those adults I should be working closely with that can be the most difficult part of my callings.

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Sister Jendoop- Good thing we have eternity to work on being perfect! :) Thanks for your kind words!

ShaneandLauraFamily said...

Thank you so much for your answers to my question. I have to admit that I almost felt silly after reading it since I have "Teaching, No Greater Call." I guess it was a gentle reminder to pull it out and actually USE it more. Thank you for all you do for all of us, especially motivating us to actively seek the spirit more.

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Sister Laura- Thank you!! I get questions a lot and it such a pleasure to bow down before my maker and ask Him how to reply. I don't question the revelation/inspiration I recieve and it's interesting to me personally how I'd be directed to the teaching no greater call book. I find the book a little long... still wonderful, but a little long. So I definitely know that I was meant to study that passage a bit more. So thank you for helping me gain a stronger testimony!!!