It seems like there’s one in every group—the person who always has something to say. Whether they’re contributing something truly worthwhile or they just like to hear themselves speak, these kids haven’t yet learned when to, well, zip it.
There is a simple approach to minimizing the monopolizers. First, jump in when they take a breath. (They have to come up for air eventually!) Say something like, “Thank you so much for sharing that!” Then validate them by confirming one key point they made.
Then immediately move on by asking someone else to speak. You might say, “Let’s get some other thoughts. [Other preteen], what do you think?”
Your goal isn’t to stop the dominators from talking, but to sincerely validate them while also giving other kids the chance to speak into the conversation.
If your chatterbox continues to be a problem, don’t hesitate to take the child aside after class and talk privately. You can say, “I love hearing your thoughts during our discussions. You’re doing a great job! I’d like to challenge you to try to find out what other people think, too.” By turning the issue into a mission for the child, you’re giving them an opportunity to grow without embarrassing or scolding them.
Never forget that our goal as leaders of BE BOLD is to show Jesus’ love to kids as much as possible, even when they can be a little challenging sometimes.