💡 Download the visual tip sheet below.
Keep an Open Mind
Create a safe space by leaving your assumptions and judgments at the door.
Refrain from checking your phone/devices.
Use a welcoming tone of voice. Pay attention to your choice of words and your nonverbal body language.
Demonstrate how to respond to a prompt. Role modeling is sharing your thoughts and demonstrating through your behaviors.
Don't Pressure Kids
Follow their lead. Skip a card if needed or set it aside and try later.
Be okay with silence. These cards require time for children to think, process, and brainstorm. Avoid interrupting/redirecting the response before someone finishes responding.
Offer Suggestions without Discounting Responses
Frame your suggestions to encourage children to expand on their responses without feeling like they are wrong or inadequate. Say:
"I wonder ________." or "Thanks for sharing your response, I never thought of it like that! What if you _________?"
Recognize there are multiple "right answers"
The 52 Essential cards empower children and adults to understand that life is not a multiple-choice test. There are multiple ways to respond to a prompt based on a person's skills, experiences, and development.
Paraphrase What You're Hearing
From time to time, paraphrasing your child/student's response will help prevent misunderstandings. Ask clarifying questions.
Acknowledge the Other Person's Feelings and Reality
A child's feelings and perspectives are their reality, even if you disagree.
Praise your child/student when they answer challenging questions and when they take time to think through the answers to their responses. Point out their developing strengths and application of new skills.
Keep the Door Open
Have a conversation about how these discussions don't need to end when you put the cards away. Encourage children/students to continue the discussion or come up with new questions.