DISCIPLINE TIPS FOR BEAVERS SCOUT LEADERS
(learnt after many years of experience and frustration!)
- Remember it’s not school and should not be as disciplined! However you must have sufficient control to keep everyone safe indoors and outdoors at all times
- Have a signal for beavers to be quiet – raising one hand high, with perhaps a finger from the other hand on the lips, and the Beavers follow suit
- Have some very simple rules such as : Beavers listen to the person who is speaking, keep their hands and feet to themselves, treat others as they would like to be treated. Ask them for ideas.
- Consider using a ‘warning’ system for repeated bad behaviour – such as if a child does not stop something when asked, tell them you are giving them a warning, and if they offend again, they have to sit on a chair out of the activity for 2 minutes. Keep it clear and simple though
- Ignore bad behaviour and reinforce good whenever possible, for example, when waiting for the Beavers to settle down, point out the ones who are ready and listening, and don’t mention the ones who aren’t. You’ll soon find they all want to be noticed for sitting quietly.
- Lower your voice if you need to calm the Beavers down
- Get down to the Beavers’ level when talking to them whenever possible. When you need to get a message across to a Beaver who is misbehaving it is much more effective if you get down to their level and look at them directly rather than down at them
- Remember their concentration span on one thing is only around 10 minutes max, and if you expect anything much longer you are asking for trouble!
- Start the next activity/instruction until the Beavers are quiet. If you talk over them it lets them think it’s acceptable to talk amongst themselves
- Use whistles indoors unless really necessary – high pitched whistles make the Beavers more excitable rather the calming them down
- Raise your voice in anger, or keep your voice raised once you’ve got the Beavers’ attention.
- Expect every evening to be perfect – some will be great, and others you may need to learn from!
You may find that things are fine for a while then you feel like you are losing control – try using quieter games and do activities that keep the Beavers in small groups for a couple of weeks and you’ll find things improve
Our top tip – Simple activities such as puzzles, lego or jigsaws as the Beavers arrive keep them occupied as soon as they enter the hut and make it significantly easier to keep control for the rest of the meeting