Instead of promising your students a reward in exchange for their good behavior, scripture memory, or attendance, encourage them to do these things because they are important, fun and exciting. (And, of course, model these behaviors yourself!) Then after your class or youth group has accomplished a goal or together learned a scripture verse, celebrate! Preteens love a party!
Bring an unexpected surprise to class with you as a treat. Give your students the “reward” (okay, now you can pull out the candy or soda or gel bracelets) to show your pleasure in their success…but only after they have accomplished the desired goal. This changes the bribe into a reward.
Need more ideas?
Check out these helpful texts:
- Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn (New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1993)
- The Dirt on Learning by Thom & Joani Schultz (Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, 1999)
- Preteen Ministry Smart Pages by Gordon & Becki West (Ventura, CA: Gospel Light, 2005). (Our book is completely reproducible to help you train your staff and parents!)
(These resources and all of your curriculum needs are available from KidZ At Heart International at a huge discount! Plus, you’ll be helping reach kids for Christ around the world. Contact resources@kidZatheart.org or see www.kidZatheart.org/kidz-store for more information.)