BE BOLD is great at keeping kids’ attention. So much so that they can pick up on cues you may not even be aware of.
Let’s take affirmation, for example. Who doesn’t love being confirmed and encouraged? Affirmation is great, right?
Yes, BUT. When you affirm a child for their answer to a question, your reaction is loaded with unintended consequences. You’ve just affirmed ONE child…but not anyone else. When you say, “That’s a great answer,” you’re shutting down additional responses. People are less inclined to share if the “right” answer has already been given. And if they don’t also hear the same enthusiastic response, they will feel wrong or even shamed.
Affirming one child’s answer is almost as harmful as rebuking another child’s response.
Instead, simply say, “Thank you for sharing.” BE BOLD should always maintain an environment where “we respect each other’s thoughts and struggles.” So strive not to qualify kids’ responses, and instead just acknowledge them and show your straightforward appreciation for their participation.
There will be plenty of other ways to give your kids affirmation. Because with BE BOLD, we’re all in this together.