What are microaffirmations?
Microaffirmations are small gestures that show kindness and support to children, helping them feel valued and like they belong. A teacher may say something encouraging to a struggling student, or a friend may give a high-five to celebrate a success. These acts can boost a child’s confidence and self-esteem, leading to success in life.
Staying positive is crucial when working with children. Kids are sensitive to the moods of adults, and negative emotions can make them feel anxious or stressed. On the other hand, positivity creates a safe and engaging learning environment, and helps build strong relationships between adults and children.
Say you are asking the class a question. You’ve asked “What are some kind things you could do on the bus to help riders feel comfortable?” And a child puts up their hand and says “My uncle went on the bus one time!”
This is obviously not information you were looking for, however, you could say something like: “Cool! I’m glad your uncle took the bus! Can you think of anything kind he might have done on the bus to keep everyone comfortable?”
In this scenario, you are using microaffirmation and then redirection to get back to your topic at hand. This way, the child doesn’t feel like they’ve done anything wrong and still feels positive about putting up their hand and about the interaction in general. This situation could be applied in many other scenarios as well.