Applause as a Statement

These conversation ideas can help your child appreciate that applause is a way of expressing something – as a group.

Whenever we have enjoyed a performance – we humans have found a way to communicate our thanks – together. Rather than hearing a chorus of, thank you – oooo – well done – bravo – woo hoo – yay. all sounding like a big mumble, applause lets us communicate as a whole group. The more we liked a performance, the louder and longer we all clap. And then – the winner gets a standing ovation.

Sometimes applause is expected – or it is the polite thing to do. But what do we do if we are expected to applaud, but we really don’t like what we heard. Let’s check out this person.

Show your child the picture of Nancy Pelosi. “What do you think is going on in this photo?”

Did Speaker Pelosi feel she needed to applaud even if she didn’t agree with what was said? What kind of message do you think she is trying to send with the way she chose to applaud?

Are there times when it is okay (or even good) to choose a different way – and times when you think it is not okay? Spend a few minutes trying to find different – and silly?- ways to applaud that send messages other than appreciation. Photograph: Doug Mills/Pool via Reuter