Motivating Children to Change

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How do you promote real change in a child that you may only have in your class once a week? Hayley Miller, Word of Life Fellowship, gives practical tips on how to motivate a child to make a change in their life that becomes a healthy habit and not performance and legalism. 



Hayley clarified that incentives are just one tool that should be used to encourage change in a child. If carrots are the only tool, it will merely be a bribe and you will get performance and legalism. And real change will not happen unless we proved a safe place where children are believed in, welcomed, encouraged, hurt is not tolerated and they are disciplined when necessary. 

Make a list of your children and identify any areas that you want them to change. Salvation? Spiritual discipline? Attitude? Behavior? Have they expressed a desire to change?
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Haley talked about the importance of praise and encouragement. Praise discusses results. Encouragement notices effort and progress.

Look back at your list. Where do you need to praise a child? How can you encourage their progress?
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Hayley also listed the 5 needs that we all have that are never to be withheld as a form of discipline (stick):
  1. Acceptance
  2. Affection
  3. Attention
  4. Affirmation
  5. Accountability


Do any of your children seem to be lacking in any of these areas? How can you make sure he/she feels accepted, loved, has attention, affirmation and accountability?
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Hayley also talked about the ways to provide discipline when a child needs correcting:
  1. Specific one-on-one conversation on their level.
  2. If that doesn't work, bring another leader into the conversation.
  3. If that doesn't work, bring the parent and child into a three-way conversation.


Are you having a discipline issue with any of your children? Have you started with a one-on-one conversation with that child? What worked? What did not? What can you take from Hayley's tips that you can use?
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The best use of a "carrot" is to celebrate what you want to duplicate. Make a list on how you can honor each child and watch them bloom and grow! 


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