Stories on the Journey – Kids Will be Kids

Serving as a catechist means dealing with kids whose minds are often elsewehere! All too often we find ourselves having to discipline kids because of disruptive behavior. Like the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield, we shake our heads and say, “tough crowd, tough crowd” and  “I get no respect.” Fact is, we’re in good company. Scripture tells us about the many “tough crowds” that St. Paul faced as he proclaimed God’s Word. It comes with the territory!

With that in mind, we turn our attention for this week’s Stories on the Journey theme to “Kids will be Kids.” Share a brief story in the Comments box below about a disruptive behavior that happened in class and caught you by surprise, pushing you to your wit’s end. Feel free to add some thoughts about how you responded, especially if you handled the situation well. Then, return each day this week to read others’ stories and to comment on them if you wish. You can also go back and comment on stories from previous weeks or to add your own stories.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you! I’ll start the parade with a story about a behavior that took me by surprise (see the Comments below).

* All stories posted become property of Loyola Press and may be used in future publications
About Joe Paprocki 2750 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

3 Comments on Stories on the Journey – Kids Will be Kids

  1. I was introducing the concept of reflective prayer to my 8th graders, leading them in a guided reflection. I had given each of them a small battery-operated tea light candle to take with them to their “sacred space” where they would sit or lay on the floor during the meditation. Several minutes later, after I dimmed the lights and put on some quiet music, I was walking about, leading the meditation. Suddenly, a tea light candle went sliding across the tile floor right in front of me…turns out they made great hockey pucks and the boys had decided to shoot them at one another! I quickly squelched that by telling them to place their candles down or to hold them in their hands and focus on the light. I also added that God wanted very much to spend some time with them and that it is not wise to ignore the Creator of the Universe! I still keep tabs on these little hockey pucks during my guided reflections but for the most part, the kids come to appreciate their little candles as a sacramental.

  2. Having disruptive children sitting closer to me and outside the rest of the class makes them a little more eager to join the rest of the children and will be after a couple of times more conscious of their behavior. Not making them feel embarrassed but also showing them how their behavior can affect a group.

  3. I lead children’s liturgy at my parish. One week wel were talking about our ability to pray no matter what emotion we are feeling. I had drawn pictures of different faces – happy, sad, angry ,etc. The children gave examples of things going on in their lives corresponding to the emotion and we would pray about it.

    One young boy became quite the distraction by making the faces that were on my pictures. The kids no longer focused on our prayers but on him. First I put my hands on my hips and made a pretend scowl at him. The children chuckled and I tried to resume the exercise. The boy continued making faces, at which point I again pretended like I was mad and said ,”Ok, Mr. Emojiface!” Now the kids howled. No point fighting it! They were done with this exercise. I had to admit, the boy was funny! Children do bring so much joy and laughter, even if not in the way you expect!

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