Being a leader can be difficult. You want your students to have a good time and yet you need to be able to motivate them to do things they may not want to do. Do yourself a favor and set yourself up to succeed.
Offer your students your respect. They will give it back. Children will respond well to those whom they respect.
Smile, be enthusiastic about duties. Join in on duties and work beside your students. If you act like a jerk you will be treated as one.
GIVE THEM CLEAR DIRECTIONS
Have a plan and share it with them.
BE A LEADER FIRST
The friendship comes later. If you create a safe environment your students will be thankful and bond with you.
- Speak calmly and clearly.
- Never give a choice on an issue that might cause a problem for you or for anyone else..
- For each choice, give only two options, each of which will be OK with you.
- If the student doesn’t decide in ten seconds, decide for him or her.
- Only give choices that fit.
- Remember: There is nothing wrong with a student that a little reasoning won’t make worse. (Never attempt to reason with a student. Don’t attempt to explain your position. He/she is not interested in facts and logic. He/she is interested in seeing you give up.)
SOME LOVE AND LOGIC EXAMPLES OF LITTLE CHOICES
- Would you like to wear your coat or carry it?
- Can you stay with us and stop that, or do you need to leave for a while and come back when you can ______________.
You are not alone! Get help from a staff member or fellow student leader.
Discipline with Love and Logic - Intermediate to Advanced Techniques
Five Basic Needs of Students
- Inclusion – (In all activities)
- Acceptance – (By all cabin members especially student leaders)
- Respect - (By all cabin members especially student leaders)
- Control - (Have a voice in cabin rules and decisions)
- Safety – (Acceptance and a voice or choices in cabin duties)
If you can make sure these five basic needs are met for every student in your cabin group, you should be able to have a cabin that works together.
Many sixth grade students have an ability to get you pulled into trying to control what you really cannot.
Avoid this trap by using enforceable statements. Enforceable statements tell kids what YOU will do or allow... rather than trying to tell THEM what to do.
When you set Love and Logic limits by saying what YOU will do or what YOU will allow:
- You avoid looking like a fool when you can’t get students to do what you say.
- You share some control with the students. As a result, they are much less likely to resist in order to regain control.
- You avoid getting sucked into trying to control something you really can’t.
Examples of Outdoor School Love and Logic Enforceable Statements:
- I will explain the cabin clean up procedure when everyone is listening.
- I’ll know you are ready for campfire when everyone has a jacket or coat on or is carrying it in their hands.
- I’ll teach you a fun game when everyone is seated and quiet.
- I’ll listen as soon as your voice is as calm as mine.
- I listen to students who are quiet and raising their hand.
- I listen to one person at a time.
- Please treat me with the same respect that I show you.
- If someone causes a problem I will do something.
What you can do to manage problem behaviors:
- Stand close to the student.
- Make eye contact and shake your head indicating “No.”
- Change the student’s location
- Provide choices.
- Use “I” statements (I need you to ___________).
Choose a Love and Logic “One-Liner” Antidote
- “Nice try.”
- "I respect you too much to argue.”
- “I know.”
- “Thanks for noticing that.”
- “Could be.”
Become a broken record, saying the same antidote for each new argument the student tries. Keep your voice soft. Allow any frustration to be that of the student, not of you.
Other Problem Situations
See the Student Leader Reference Manual hanging in your cabin or ask a Program Leader for advice!
Special thanks to these Student Leaders for their contributions to this section: