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Rising Stars: Disciplining Without Shaming!

For this blog I offer an example of “Disciplining without Shaming” to illustrate from my journey around 35 years ago. It was during the time when I was stationed at the 107th Fighter Interceptor Group serving in the “F-4 phantom II” in Strategic Air Defense.

Rising Stars:  Disciplining Without Shaming!
Rising Stars: Disciplining Without Shaming!

While there, I was a church member at a great family of people at a church in Town of Tonawanda all those years ago. While there, a friend of mine took over a Bus Ministry in which there were a number of families in a low-income area and while some of the parents did not come, they wanted their children to be part of our Youth Group and gain some good foundational growth in faith. My friend would be the driver each Sunday morning to go down and pick up the kids and after Sunday School and Church, he would drive them back home and ensured their safety along the way. He asked if I would be willing to help as one of the bus monitors. I agreed.

The kids knew who I was and my job was to watch the kids and ensure their safety. One Sunday, as we went to pick up the kids, there was this one little boy. I am thinking he was probably about 5 or 6 years old. He was a high energy little boy. On one occasion the kids were high energy. At one point enroute after picking them up, I saw this little boy climbing on the backs of the seats and I went up to him and very definitively said, Get Down….hear me?” A couple of minutes later, I looked and he was doing the same thing and I walked up to him when he got down and I very directly said Did You Hear Me?”……then I said ”Sit Down!”. He sat down in his seat and I sat right next to him by the aisle. After a moment, I looked down at him next to me and he had his hand on his face as he was crying.

Being different than most…I put my arm around him and said Discipline is not fun, right? He nodded his head. With my arm around him I said You know what buddy I understand that because when I was your age, my parents often had to do that to me and so I understand you but you know what…..? He asked what and I said We don’t do it because we hate you, we do it because we LOVE you and we want you to be safe…..we love you so that we do not want you to get hurt.” When we got to the church, I gave him a quick hug before he went into the church.

What was the result of the different approach?

After that, whenever the little guy would see me, he ran and made a be-line to hug me. In fact, the funniest example was one time when I was not on the bus that day but it was right after church and I was out in the yard preparing to go to my car and I hear “Hi MR. RANDY…”. I looked up and he was leaning out of the bus window at his seat. I smiled and saidLove you Buddy and then as I pointed towards the window and saidBuddy get back in the seatand we waved at each other and he pulled back inside the window.

How do you need to connect with your Rising Stars even when you are having to discipline and correct them? Do they feel your love for them even when being disciplined? What do you need to do differently?

Randy Swaim, Coaching for Relevance, LLC


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