Advice on Dealing with Kids??

I've been doing our kids program for a little over a year now. Our program has grown a lot and I have a really good relationship with all the kids.

But there are 3-4 kids that disrupt the program. Some of them always talk during the demonstration of the move. I stop the demo and address the kids, they stop. But they will do it at the next demo. Meanwhile, when they go to practice the move, they screw it all up because they weren't paying attention to the move during the demo. These kids also disrupt other kids by all the laughing and chatter.

Lets say I have one kid named Tim. Tim is an awesome student and always quiet and respectful. James is disruptive and he is friends with Tim. As soon James hangs around Tim, Tim starts screwing its contagious.

Then there are some others who really dont want to be there. They hate it and I can tell they hate it. They are simply forced to do it because of their parents. I understand having to go through tough times, but these kids just are not athletic in ANY sense. They fall apart when doing a move and it ruins the experience for their partners.

How do you guys deal with this? I know they are kids but I dont want to be a glorified babysitter. I want the kids to be good at the sport.

Well, it is not an easy situation. I have had to expel one child from my class because he misbahaved so much. I think the best thing to do is talk to the paretns and the kids. ask them if this is what they want to do and if so, then they need to get with the program. One of the things I do now that helps a lot is I address the class at the very beggining and tell them what we are going to do for the day. I also state that we have to get this done and if we can't there will not be time for one of our games. This has worked great

discipline them with cardio.... push ups ,wall sits etc.

If that dont work try removing the stunner shades and belt buckle and maybe they'll show you more hespect ;-)

Play As the Way

Beat them. Hard.

Just Kidding! I agree with Mad Tiger. What I do is tell everyone that the next person who doesn't listen, or misbehaves, then EVERYONE is going to get sprints and push ups. If they play up again, everyone gets it again. This makes the kids start to disipline themselves.

Sometimes you will get a kid that will keep misbehaving just to make everyone else have to do the sprints etc. so what I do is let everyone do it twice, but if it is the same kid on the third time he does it on his own while we all watch.

I might also make him sit out on the games and make him watch the other kids play.

Regarding the Tim and James thing, I just change them around to different partners. I will put Tim with another good student so at least the two of them can train properly together and help set an example for the rest.

James will be on the receiving end of a testicle stomp.

What mad tiger said. I coached kids soccer for a few years, and lots of push ups, sit-ups, running brings them in line. Of course then you can have a complaining parents...I had one Mom say "you make him run too much!" . I said "'s soccer, all we do is run."

I taught kids TMA classes for a little longer than a decade before moving into my own BJJ/MMA school.

There are a number of ways to handle it. Here's my usual M.O. (inherited from my karate instructor of many decades experience):

First time offense (in a single class) - Call them on it, but nicely. Do it in front of the class.

Example: The kids are supposed to be watching, and someone is talking.

Me: "Sir! (Or kid's name) There's no talking right now.

Say it a little gently, but firmly enough that he understands. There is no threat made, no penalty assigned - just a polite request or explanation that the behavior is out of line.

Second offense (in same class) - Stop what you are doing. Look at the student very seriously.

Me: Come here, my friend.

Say it quietly, and motion him over with your hand. Turn yourself and himself away from the group. Come down to one knee so you can look him in the eye. Say this all just above a whisper, so that maybe the nearest kid can hear you a little, but not well.

Me: Ok sir, that's the second time you've talked out while you should be listening. We have five minutes left in the warmup (or whatever) before we move on to the (whatever we do next: rolling, game, end of doesn't matter if it's something fun or not). I'm worried that you aren't going to be able to control yourself until then. I don't want you to have to miss the (whatever we do next). Are you going to be able to control yourself until then?

This is all said very seriously, but plainly. There is no frustration or emotion on the surface. Typically, at this point, the kid will look you in the eye and mumble a response. Get them to repeat themselves clearly. Usually it's a very quiet "yes".

Me: I'm glad to hear that.

Give them a little high five and send them back to line.

Third time - if it happens again, there is no discussion or anger. I'm a big fan of "time out" type situations - the student sits on the side and watches the other kids participate. This drives them crazy.

If a kid continues to be disruptive on the side, I will remove him from the classroom entirely. This also merits a meeting with the parents.

Only once or twice in my entire teaching career have I needed to go to the highest level of punishment: "Go in the dressing room and put on your shoes. You are done for today." The one or two times I had to say it, I thought the kid was going to throw up. It's pretty heavy if you say it correctly.

I've got more, but this is my primary method. It works wonders if you are consistent.

Also, pick up a book called "Back Talk". It's a quick little thing you can read in an hour. It's a great resource for dealing with kids, especially ones that try to slide in little annoying behaviors that don't warrant big punishments. I loved it.


ask shen.  he's got some good advice when dealing with children's classes....

Great advice so far... keep em coming. Thanks guys

Nice post Chris.  Some solid advice there.

'Nice post Chris. Some solid advice there.'

No it's not. It's making me feel bad about stomping James' testicles! :)

go make him sit in the corner,if the parents dont like it send them home.this will let the other parent know that there kids are being taken care of .you will pick up more customers

Well, I don't know you or your class so I'm talking a bit out of the side of my head. So take it that way. If kids are acting out you may not immediately blame the kids. You may take a look at your curriculum. I wonder why people here automatically think it's a good idea to whip kids into shape and force them to submit? Why all the focus on discipline? That militaristic attitude doesn't work with kids. For kids it's about play and creativity. If kids are getting restless maybe they need shorter activities and more play in class. I think kids curriculum are best built around play and creativity because that's where they are at. If you are trying to force an adult's class structure on them you'll always be banging your head against a wall. I work as a teacher by trade and I can't tell you how many teachers think it's some sort of big accomplishment to get kids to just shut up for an hour. I'm wondering what useful skill that teaches? Luis at has some real gifts with kids and his play as the way video should be required viewing for anyone who teaches kids.

I recently started a new Student of the month contest.

I went online to Title boxing and ordered a big ol championship belt cost about 40.00.

Brought this belt into class and showed it to all the kids and told them about the new contest.

To win Student of the month you have to pay attention in class, attend class on a regular basis, come prepared for class. No talking, no goofing off, and you must give your best effort during class. Also threw in that I would be talking to their parents to see how they were behaving at home anyone who got in trouble in school or got grounded at home could not win student of the month for that month.

In exchange the winner gets to take the belt home with him/her, and keep it for the whole next month until the next student of the month is named. They bring the belt to class with them, they stand at the front of the class with me to Bow in and bow out, and they also get a certificate.

Best part the student who wins student of the month the most times during the year will be named student of the Year and will get to keep the belt.

Means I have to buy a new belt every year but it's a small price to pay, the kids are crazy about that belt and it totally turned around one of my problem kids, in fact he was the first winner and you would think he just won the lotto when he got that belt!

Here's what you do.

You get a wax statue made of one of the kids (the kid who screws around the most) and then go to the butcher's and get some pig intestines, liver, kidneys, etc.

You set up the statue and the organs in a separate room and make it look like something just tore the kid apart. And then cover up the whole mess with a tarp.

Then, during class, when that kid screws up, you take him aside to the room where you've set up the statue, organs and tarp and tell him that he's fucked up too often and that he's no longer welcome there and to find another place to train. Then kick his ass out the BACK door.

Then, uncover your masterpiece and then go out to the other kids and lead them into the room where they can now see the statue and tell them that the next kid who fucks up is going to end up like your "victim" and that you know where they live.

Thanks, so far it works like a charm.


How old are these kids?

Start every class with all the kids together and explain your expectations and what is appropriate behavior in class. Maybe even come up with a signal that tells everyone it is time to be quiet and listen. Remind them often of your signal (maybe even practice it) and your expectation and post them on the wall so you can refer to them as class goes on.

If they are really young you might consider breaking the segments down into shorter more manageable pieces.

If they are a little older it is a good idea to talk to them one on one. Ask them to wait on the side of the mat until you are done and when everyone else starts drilling go over and ask why he is being disruptive and what he wants out of the class. You should also explain your expectations.

It is ok to tell some kids that they aren't allowed to sit by people who will make them want to talk. They can earn their right to sit by their friend again by being good.

You also may want to talk to the parent about what they want their kids to get out of the class.