Last night I went to church for my semi-monthly meetings with the 8-11 year old girls. These are a group of top notch girls with a lot of energy. Most of the girls are VERY outgoing. I am fairly certain, in each of their classes at school they are natural leaders. But sometimes I just don't know how to deal with all their excitement and helpfulness.
For example, we were having a moderately complicated relay race*. I had to explain the process approximately twelve times (and there were only 7 girls) because they would interrupt and reexplain the process to me, you know so I could make sure they really understood it. Then someone else would want to do a demonstration, who would then explain it to someone else and the other person would get confused. It was like a huge loud game of telephone (you know the one where you whisper a message around a circle and it is totally messed up by the time it makes it back to the beginning).
I struggle with how structured I want our group to be. I want it to flow smoothly but I don't want it to be too formal, because this is an optional activity and should be fun. There are times when I take a stand, because, really, a nine year old knows better than hiding under the table during prayer. I have also found that when I take a stand on certain things they usually comply and don't make a big fuss about it, but sometimes it feels so out of control, and I am freaked out that if one of the parents or the primary president were to walk in, I would most certainly be released the following Sunday.
So what is the balance? Will the girls be upset if I make more structured rules? Do I just let the chaos ensue? How long before one of the more quiet girls feelings gets hurt because I am not paying as much attention to them?
Or am I worrying for nothing, because after all they are 8-11 year old girls and chaos is the norm at these things?
*Even if the teams are unequal, leader should not participate in the seal crawl relay race, especially if her pants can be pulled down without unbuttoning, because she might stop to pull them up and lose the race for her team.