How Can Making the Bed Protect Your Students From Peer Pressure... and how to get them begging to do
The 7 Essentials: #5 - A Cultuer of Leadership
The only thing harder than trying to get your children to stop fighting is to get them to make their beds! Unfortunately this isn't something most children naturally do (unless you have a little "beaver" personality on your hands... and then they'll make you half-crazy with their need to organize everything, including you.)
Those with discipline to take care of their own room, make their own bed, and be responsible for their own things, tend to live more productive, successful lives. If they can be faithful in the small things, then I know I can trust them with larger responsibilities. Those who know me, will attest to my demand for tidy beds. I'm so adamant about being faithful with what you've got that when this video hit social media I received a dozen links to it. Hmmm. You might enjoy the brilliance of Admiral William H. McRaven as much as I do. It is one of my absolute favorites and an excellent training resource for your 5th-6th graders! (There's one small swear word you can blip out of when he refers to "Hell Week" in boot camp. Your call.) Click Here's a shorter version if you prefer but the real meat is in the full speech.
The fifth building block in the RHOPE Strategy is a culture of leadership. This answers the question, “How do I get there?” Your brain demands targets and goals. Once it knows where you want to go it will find a way to get you there. If none are provided it doesn't know which way to direct you or how to hit the mark. Your brain feels lost at sea without any sense of how to reach the shore. In the examples of Admiral McRaven, it's the goal that gives you the tenacity to stay in the game and provides the strength to overcome every obstacle to your success.
Children who learn to lead through service take ownership for their decisions develop self-confidence, self-governance, initiative, and stewardship. When these qualities are used for the service of others, students find significance and are far more likely to empower each other to succeed then get lost in the crowd.
Your Action Item
Your action item is to establish a culture of leadership in your classroom by giving your students chores and special responsibilities. Leadership is a skill every child must learn. In fact, your bullies are typically leaders who just need the desire for attention, respect and significance channeled into leadership opportunities.
True leadership is the art of service. Championeers! provides multiple channels for students to serve their classmates and community through service-leadership projects. If service is not the core of leadership, students tend to let power go to their head and even the nicest of kids can become bossy. Take those same kids and see if they'll clean the bathrooms with the same enthusiasm as being the MC of the show... in fact, you may want to team those two opportunities together. (True story; I used to volunteer my family to take bathroom duty at summer camps, just for the opportunity to teach my children how to happily do your very best in everything they put their hands to. You've never seen such beautiful bathrooms in your life.)
In addition to personal responsibilities, choose special class jobs to rotate your students through. Perhaps this is the floor sweeper, garbage collector, line leader, attendance taker, pledge of allegiance leader, announcer, Championeers! Click-Class operator, award giver, calendar marker, game leader... maybe you have an ambush team that helps you deliver that special surprise to a teacher or classmate each week. How about a weekly special opps team to deliver a donut to a school administrator as a thank you.
It's limitless. Not enough jobs for everyone? Assign teams. Too busy? Have a student leader assign next week's leaders. Too much hassle? Assign a class-wide leadership task you can all do at the same time... like the one-minute-clean-up game. If you want a class of leaders give them all a place to serve! Service transforms your students from receivers to givers and helps dismantle entitlement as children learn how much they can accomplish when shown how. It's fun!
Together, we can do this!
There are 7 Essential Elements required for children to be emotionally safe. When these are satisfied, your children are much less likely to succumb to peer pressure because they are empowered with tools to meet their emotional needs. We call these 7 Elements The RHOPE Strategy; Rinehart’s Hierarchy of Peer Empowerment. (c) 2015 Championeers.