Creating group expectations or rules is important. It lays out the framework for how the group will work and what the expectations will be.
To follow are recommendations for crafting group expectations:
- Wait until you’ve seen the group in action for 1 – 2 sessions (this way you can include any expectations you know the group needs)
- Phrase the creation of the rules as: How are we going to be as a group? What behaviors/ways of being are going to work?
- Make all rules tangible, clear and phrased in the positive
- Work to keep the kids’ language intact. That is if they say “Be kind with everybody” – write that down. If what is suggested is not clear, work with the group to get clarity and keep the language as close to what was said. This will be more impactful when you’re reminding the group around how to behave.
- Elaborate on all rules/expectations with examples and/or role-plays
- Consider including visual symbols to represent each expectation
- Post the rules
- Include 3 – 5 rules max!
- Consider what’s essential in a group: Listening, Safety, Fun, Kindness
- Remember to remind the group that listening is key for leaders too!