youth worker, youth ministry, destroy

One Student’s Power to Destroy

By Doug Franklin July 27, 2010

I am often amazed at how one student who has a bad attitude can destroy the experience for a whole group of students. Many times it’s because the student wants attention, so in order to get it they mock and make fun of what the adult leaders are trying to accomplish in the lives of all the students in the group. The good students seldom stand up to the student with the bad attitude and confront their behavior. I notice the adults don’t often confront the student either; they often pretend that the behavior is not happening. As the bad behavior continues the experience is ruined and students don’t grow. Youth workers wake up! You don’t have to be held hostage by the behavior of one student or from a small group of students. First isolate the student with the bad behavior. Move them away from the group and confront them about their behavior. Explain to them your goals and how their behavior is destroying other students’ experience. Motivate them to change; ask them to help you reach the goal. Give them examples of specific actions that will help the group grow. Remind them that you have an agenda for the experience and if they have a different one, this experience is not for them. Tell them you love them all the same but their behavior must change.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More