2 boys in a childrens club were fighting. not to nasty, but the other younger children were begining to copy them. I called them off 4-5 times but they carried on. They eventually stopped.
I asked them to come and sit on the sofas which they did, I started with the older boy, I told him that He had been fighting and that wasn’t on so he was putting put in the 3 strikes zone. (This is an area next to the score chart which is red and counts down from 3-2-1 at one the young people are asked to leave and taken home.)
The boy knew what was going on and what i was syaing, he understood my reasons and I moved him to the red zone. (I had to walk the length of the room to do this.) As I started to walk he called after me, what about the “other Guy” you gonna punish him. I said yeah bit I was dealing with him first not the other guy.
I moved him to the red zone and returned to the seated area. I spoke to the other guy, went through what had happened and asked what I should do about it. The other guy said i should punish him as well.
then the first boy spoke up.
“Nah, listen i take his punishment. he’s alright.”
“Are you sure you want to do this?”
“aye I always get in trouble it’s nothing for me, but it different for him”
I pointed this out to all the staff ans said to the boy privately and in front of others how he had done a great thing.
Interestingly we had a wee discussion then about taking the punishment for others, the other lad said he would probably do the same for the first guy sometime but never had before.
God is at work. Blinkered by tradition we miss it. Perhaps if we all left the church we would see it all the more readily.