March 4, 2010

How To Scare People & Control Children ©

I was a Kid's Club Leader for over ten years at my old church, and during that time discovered some of the best ways to manage the children's behaviour. By the time the kids had arrived, they were usually full of pent-up energy and wanting to run around like maniacs. So first we would get some energetic music going with lots of actions, and usually finished the night with games or something to release their energy.

Right from the start I swore I would try not to shout unless I absolutely had to. I soon confirmed that bribery was a good option for getting them to behave, eg "Johny, please take that chewing gum out of your nose. Ok, no games until everyone has settled down."But one of the all-time favourite things I liked to do was to threaten the children with singing opera ... very badly. Yes, it's another amazing talent of mine.

I recall the one or two times I had to carry out my threat, and the children laughing, clasped their hands to their ears and cried out "No more Miss Vicki!" "Stop!" "You're hurting my ears!" and so on.

I still occasionally use the opera threat at home with my 11 year old. He heard me singing in operatic style once and decided it was too unjust a punishment for any of his possible crimes.

But the tables have turned now. He is taking up both clarinet and the recorder this year. Today we purchased the recorder from a local music-shop, and after I told him not to play it in the car, he realised that he had something he could use as a form of torture. His comment, with a twisted little smile was "I have a recorder and I'm not afraid to use it!"

Cheeky begger! I wonder who he learnt that kind of behaviour from? ©

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