Meaning of the Word Discipline

It is no mere coincidence that the words disciple and discipline share the same root meaning:“to learn.  Good discipline is guidance toward right behavior. Christian religious education’s goal is to teach the child to internalize the values and principles of Jesus and to grow in his/her

relationship with God.  Discipline is an ongoing process in which the external rules give way to self-control.

The goal of external boundaries and rules is self-discipline not punishment.

Discipline allows all the energy of the learner to be focused on learning.  Discipline sets the stage for success in life.  Self-discipline enables children to grow both spiritually and      psychologically.  Appropriate behavior and courtesy are presumed and expected at every level of a child’s maturity.  Sowing the message of salvation in the hearts of today’s children is especially challenging and frequently frustrating because of the impact of family and culture.

Starting Off Right

The Religious Education Program’s approach to discipline in the class session is based on positive, respectful procedures.

At the beginning of the year, the catechist will present clear behavior expectations for class management.  The catechist will:

· discuss with children appropriate rules for class behavior

· inform children of the consequences of inappropriate behavior

· post rules in class so children see and are reminded

· use positive reinforcements to remind children of  appropriate Christian behavior

· inform parent of continued misconduct


Unacceptable Behaviors

In order to maintain an environment to learn and foster Catholic values, certain behaviors, are deemed unacceptable. These unacceptable behaviors include (but are not limited to) the following:

· disrespect for the rights of self and others

· disrespectful behavior towards catechists, substitutes or aides

· talking in class at inappropriate times

· passing notes, texting, emailing  and distracting others

· gum chewing or eating candy in class without permission

· continual tardiness, non-participation and inattentiveness

· dishonesty in any form (lying, cheating, plagiarism)

· inappropriate language

· fighting

· intimidation in all forms (includes bullying, threats, slander)

· continued disruption in class

· physical abuse of property, including textbooks

· non-compliance with program policies


Consequences for Inappropriate Behavior

Repeated failure to show respect or to observe policies, procedures or regulations of the program will result in disciplinary action.

1. The catechist will first attempt to work for change with the young person.

2. In the event that Step 1 is not successful the catechist will contact the Level Coordinator.

3. In the event that the situation is not remedied, the parent/guardian and young person will meet with the program director and the catechist.

4. If all of the above fails, a recommendation for withdrawal from the program will be made.


“Emotionally, children are healthiest when they have clear boundaries and evidence of unconditional love when they cross those boundaries.”

The Discipline Guide for Children’s Ministry by Jody Capehart, Gordon West and Becki West.