Effective relationship and communication with children and young people and adults Essay
“It is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of thoughts, messages or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behavior. It is the meaningful exchange of information between two individuals.”
“The way in which two or more people or things are connected.”
Relationships with children are especially tender and deserve extra attention and care as children are developing their concepts of the world and their place in it. We are role models for children and young people; depending on ourselves this can be positive and negative one.
We have the responsibility to create an environment with which they are able to share every problem with us.
A previous research shows that developing an effective professional relationship makes a real difference in improving outcomes for service users. No matter how programs and funding may change, it is the human relationships that are ‘core to delivery of effective services.’ Yet too often they are overlooked. The Munro review also identifies the importance of forming relationships with families and the skills and experience of the social workers in being able to achieve this.
Development in other parts of the UK including a strategy for social work reforms in Wales and the children’s hearings act legislation on Scotland are underpinned by the importance of professional expertise and knowledge in improving outcomes for children and young people. York consulting was commissioned by action for children to undertake research to articulate how Action for children professionals develop effective relationships with parents and how this makes a difference for children and young people.
Professional, respectful relationship with children and young people Developing and maintaining respectful relationships is the foundation for working effectively as a professional. It requires professionals to respect the values of each family, even when they differ from their own. Responsive engagement with children and families builds on respectful relationships and sensitivity to the uniqueness of each child and family.Professionals understand that the most effective learning experiences are based on children’s strengths, abilities and interests.Attuned engagement is one characteristic of a responsive relationship. It involves alert awareness, being receptive and connected to both individuals and the group and responding accordingly.Another way of describing responsive engagement between an early childhood professional and a child is the concept of ‘caring presence’, which comes from the nursing profession. Caring presence requires awareness of the child and ‘engrossment’ in the interaction, so that the early childhood professional recognizes when the child learns something significant. Example
An educator described her frustration with a child who was very slow to finish morning tea as she had a meeting to attend. She made a few comments to the child about hurrying up, and then she stopped and thought about how the child might be feeling about her obvious frustration and need for a hurried routine that morning. Reflecting in the moment, she remembered that earlier in the morning the children had talked to her about bullying and why they didn’t like it. She wondered whether her frustration led to an interaction that did not reflect a commitment to respectful relationships and responsive engagement with children. In this example, the educator uses reflection in practice to think about her relationship with a child. The example shows how a daily routine can and should have respect and responsiveness at its Centre. The educator is aware that balancing children’s and adults’ needs or the needs of individual children and the rest of the group is not always easy. The child’s need for a relaxed routine conflicted with the adult’s need for the routine to be over quickly. Professionals often have competing tasks and obligations that require them to priorities.
A challenge for educators in education and care settings – family day care, Centre-based settings, playgroups, school classrooms, and school age care services – is balancing attention given to a particular child while maintaining awareness of what is happening in the group and for other children. An additional challenge for maternal and child health nurses and supported playgroup facilitators is balancing attention to adults on the one hand and children on the other. How to behave appropriately, for a child or young person’s stage of development To develop and maintain positive relationship with children we have a need to learn such strategies i.e. Welcome children and young people to the setting.
Use such communication skills which they can easily understand Tackle them on different stages by using well communication Techniques for observing and listening to children.
The effects of discrimination and how to counter them.
It is not only the environment that creates a welcoming and friendly atmosphere; it is also the people who are there. First impressions are important for parents and carers as well as the children and young people. As a play worker, you will need to develop a range of techniques and strategies for interacting with children and young people. Techniques that you could use when children and young people come to the setting for the first time include the following: Making eye contact with a child will help her feel welcome
Find out his or her preferred name; be sure you know how to pronounce it, and make an effort to use it Explain any routines that you use
Try to ask open questions (those that cannot be answered with just yes or no) Try to be at the same level (bend down for smaller children).
The way that you communicate with children and young people will be determined by your personal approach. The method you choose will be the most appropriate for the child or young person and suitable for the specific situation. It may take the form of talking and listening or may involve other people, e.g. interpreters.
Use language they will understand.
Listen carefully; show you are concentrating and interested. Be patient, you may need to explain things more than once.
Use eye contact.
Have a friendly approach; smile, listen and generally be easy to talk to. 8–12 years
Encourage children and young people to express their opinions, Give explanations to back up what you are saying.
Offer opportunities for them to express themselves, e.g. role-play, modeling, painting, drawing, writing. Encourage self-help and independence.
Give them responsibilities.
Find a common interest, e.g. video, music.
Challenge stereotypical or racial discrimination, inappropriate terminology and swearing. Negotiate and look for compromises; listen to their reasons. Use humor appropriately; do not use put-downs or sarcasm, laugh at appropriate things, be sympathetic and show empathy. Give them space; use the correct supervision level, do not assume they always want an adult listening in. Treat them like adults; do not patronize or talk down to young people, empower them to express their opinions freely. Use communication to increase their vocabulary, discuss issues as you would with another adult.
By listening to children and observing their interactions, you can show that you are interested in the children and value what they say and do. This will give each child a sense of security in the relationship he or she builds with you and will encourage him or her to seek you out to discuss issues and concerns, as well as positive experiences. Asking questions and giving opinions is a development stage in life. You are in a useful position to help children and young people develop these skills. The reasons why we should encourage children to ask questions and give opinions are shown below.
Encourage children to ask questions and give opinions
Discrimination is occurring when one particular group or individual is treated unfairly. It effects badly on one group with respect to other and then it leads to greater problems. So we have to counter these discriminations by using following strategies;
Action to counteract it
Boys will not allow girls to play football.
Challenge the boys, explain why girls should be allowed to play, and then select mixed gender teams. Boys are not allowed to dress up in girl’s clothes and vice versa. Explain that all children benefit from being allowed to participate in role play. Only celebrating Christian festivals.
Research festivals, ask people from differentcultures/religions for advice. Child being teased because they cannot afford designer clothing. Stop teasing immediately. Deal with the issue as a group. Explain how clothes don’t make the person. Child who wears glasses being unable to participate in sports. Adapt equipment and rules for children if necessary.
Children using inappropriate language to describe homosexuality. Challenge immediately, and follow up with an explanation about how offensive that type of language can be. If necessary give correct terminology.
How to deal with disagreements between children and young people
Dealing with conflicts with children can be challenging. Young children get very emotional and are often crying. Especially children in Infants years, the smallest thing can cause a disagreement, usually in the playground over toys. I find the best way to deal with conflicts is to be calm and get each child to explain what happened, this shows you are not taking sides and you are listening to both, explain the difference in right and wrong. Try to make them understand if they were put in the same position, how they would feel and get them to apologies. Also, younger children, especially those who may be an only child find it harder to share. This is another issue affecting disagreements in this age group. For example, during art class, sharing colors, some children don’t have the patience to wait for their
turn; this causes little conflicts amongst children. So I try to explain to them that they should be patient, be considerate of others and wait for their turn. Whereas with young people you need to have a different strategy in order to deal with disagreements. This age group is strong willed and most will have their own views and ideas. They are more independent and have their individual personalities hence will clash more. They should be encouraged to discuss the issue and come to a mutual agreement. Learning to accept others views and opinions and to respect this. Adults should give young people the opportunity to resolves issues themselves and intervene only when needed. I feel when dealing with young people, you need to be able to listen to them, let them explain the issue before jumping in giving them your view. If the matter is discussed, they will realize for themselves what the right answer is. How own behavior could:
a) Promote effective interactions with children and young people Children always look up to adults and will take lead from adults around them. If we show good behavior then they will take that in. We have to follow the guidelines and rules, be polite and respectful towards other, if class teacher say something to do then you have to do. Always wear smart dresses. Treat everyone fairly and be aware of your own approach. Being a team player and offering to help others is beneficial in building effective relationships. b) Impact negatively on interactions with children and young people Little eyes are watching and little ears are listening. The teacher is one of the child’s ideal, it is very important for a teacher to have qualities which impress the child and the qualities which he can imitate and thus become good. For example, swearing in front of your children teaches them that bad language is appropriate. The teacher who seemed to be angry and unhappy put negative impact on children and young people. If we can‘t listen and respect the class teacher then it make negative impact on children and young people. We can’t tell them to do something when we do not do it ourselves. When a student observes a particular teacher has few favorite students, then he/she will think he/she is been sidelined, may be thinking he/she is not good enough or smart enough, when he/she sees the other favoritized students friendly with the teacher, this results in a negative impact may be its a wrong way of taking it. Respectful,
professional relationships with adults
When you are in discussion with adults it is fair to say everyone will have different views, some adult expect you to have the same views as themselves, you are not always going to agree on the matter, as long as you show mutual respect and be professional the best way to get over this is to communicate effectively and respect each other’s views, as long as you are able to support other adults then you are on the right path, when we are communicating with adults it’s important to address them by their preferred title this in turn is showing respect, for example; Mrs. Sophia. With adults you are communicating with you can use more complex languages, (whereas children you have to keep it clear and to the point so they understand what you are talking about) it is important for them to feel comfortable with you, especially since you are going to be working closely with them in the classroom you have to show them that you are caring individual, respect their wishes in the settings, communicate politely and courteously, give them all the support they need, listen to their views, ask question on a need to know the basis, always try to handle disagreements with adults in a way that will create a positive relationship. This will make it easier to work in a team and therefore less likely to cause friction in the settings, this will also make you a good role model for children as well as the adults. Importance of adult relationships as role models for children and young people Everyone plays different roles in life. Roles are social responsibilities or parts that people play in different situations. At work, for instance, someone might be a teacher; at home, they are a parent, spouse or child. Parents model the roles that children will play in society as adults through their behavior. Children imitate the behaviors of their parents and are influenced by them more than any other person or group of people. Significance
Children need role models for a lot of reasons. Role models help kids feel more secure in their identities. Young people often compare themselves with others, searching for their own identities and ways of being in the world. Having an adult to compare themselves with greatly increases their confidence in their own decisions. It’s like having what they know is the
right behavior reflected back at them in a real and justifiable way. The Facts
Even if parents are not actively trying to be a role model, it is likely that they still are their child’s primary role model. Children learn from their parents from the time they are infants. They learn to talk, eat, walk, socialize with others, manage their emotions and complete their responsibilities from their parents. Children have great trust in their parents, an “innate trust” that is embedded in their earliest memories, according to Healthy Place. Modeling Behavior
Parents should model the appropriate behavior for their children in all aspects of life. They should model work behavior by completing their own responsibilities in a timely and efficient manner. Parents should also be good role models of other behaviors like assertiveness, kindness and managing emotions. If parents lose their temper often, for instance, children will learn that it is okay to express your anger freely, regardless of who is around. They may wind up displaying hostility in front of their own children as adults. Modeling Relationships
Parents can be positive models for their children’s social relationships. If a parent regularly brings home friends who are obviously rude or take advantage of the friendship, for example, it is likely that children will think friendships like this are acceptable and begin negative relationship patterns of their own. The home environment also provides the strongest model for romantic relationships in a person’s life. If parents are affectionate and caring toward one another, this will likely be the standard to which children hold their own romantic relationships. Active Role Modeling
Being a role model also means communicating with your child about your expectations and values. If a teen is in what is obviously a verbally or emotionally abusive relationship, for instance, you should talk with them openly about their boyfriend’s behaviors and compare the relationship to your own. Teens, especially, are confused about their social roles and expectation. Clear communication means being a proactive and effective role
model. Being a positive role model also means taking an active role in the child’s life. If children don’t feel important to their parents, they may take the parental relationship as relatively unimportant and ignore their role models. How to adapt communication to meet different communication needs
The principles of relationship building with children and adults in any context are that if others are comfortable in our company, they will be more likely to communicate effectively. If you don’t adapt the way you communicate to meet the needs of others, you are not communicating; you might as well be talking to yourself, and probably are. When in placement it may be necessary to adapt the way in which we communicate with adults or children as they might have a few difficulties. When communicating with people in the school whether it’s the adults, children or parents we need to think about the following
-Is language which you use is their second language?
-Do they have a hearing impairment or deaf?
-Do they have a disability?
-Are they special education needs?
-Do they have poor vision, or maybe blind?
We would need to adapt the way that we communicate if they have any of the above as good communication is vital and we don’t any misunderstandings. To help with communicating with children with any of those difficulties you could try the following:
Pictures, photographs, flashcards. This is a brilliant way to help the child if they’re deaf. You could hold up pictures to show what you’re doing today as an example. You could use sign language. This is getting more and more common in schools now as we’re teaching the children for future impoundments with deaf people. Signing is a great way for the children and adults to communicate. Facial expressions, gestures and eye contact will help you communicate with people as even if they don’t understand they might have an idea through your communication skills. Speak clearly and slow. This will help people with hearing impairments and even people who’re deaf as it’ll be
easier to lip read. In professional level children learn from their parents and other siblings, when communicating with others, you will need to consider the context in which you are working. You will need to adapt the way you communicate in diﬀerent situations. It is likely that you will do this automatically – for example, you should use more formal language and behavior in a meeting. Your school will have a range of types of planned communication with other adults – when dealing with other professionals, there will be meetings and discussions as well as more informal communication at diﬀerent times. However, the spoken word is not the only way in which we communicate – it happens through the way we respond to others, for example, how quickly we respond to an email or phone message, how attentive we are when speaking to someone, how we dress. You may ﬁnd that the non-spoken forms of communication can be an issue if they are misread by others. You should also remember that diﬀerent cultures will have their own norms of behavior which will extend to gestures, body language and eye contact. In some cultures, for example, it is not polite to look another person in the eye when speaking to them. All of this leaves a great impact on children and young people in the stage of development.
Dealing disagreements between the practitioner, children and young people
If it is teacher assistance versus a child, then the chances are that the child is being confrontational and disobedient. You would have to point out the boundaries and explain that it would not be wise to cross these boundaries if the child did not want to make the situation worse for their self. With an adult, they have their own perspective on what has caused the disagreement and this should be listened to and then you should calmly put forward your point of view. It is essential to establish respectful and professional relationships with children and young people in the role of teacher assistance. There are certain strategies which enable such a valued and trusted relationship to be established. A relationship in which a child trusts and respects their teacher assistance and feels comfortable in their company, allows the teacher assistance to offer a supportive and caring environment in which the child can learn and develop.
Dealing disagreements between practitioner and adults
Very often in my life I have found myself in the middle of conflict. You have to be very wise, diplomatic and try to help to solve the problem, if somebody asks you to. Many times people know how to sort it out, or what must be done to solve the problem, but they are too emotionally involved at that moment and they simply are not able to do anything. If such a situation happened, it is good to listen and give them time to calm down. It can take just few minutes or longer period of time. The important thing is to be patient, who may be hard to do, but it is vital to keep a cool head. At times I may be required to mediate discussions, over a period of time, until both parties feel that the issue has been resolved to their satisfaction. This might be conflicts at work, among friends, among children at school, or at home. Firstly, when we want to manage disagreements, the skill of listening to both sides must be created.
Importance of reassuring children, young people and adults of the confidentiality of shared information and limits
Confidentiality is the preservation of privileged information, concerning children and their families, which is disclosed in the professional relationship. It is a complicated issue which is based upon the principle of trust. Confidentiality is very important when working in a closely with parents. Some information needs to be shared but only with your superior, i.e. head teacher, as it will be a matter of total confidence. If you suspect a child-protection issue, this should be shared only with your superior and again in strictest confidence, and the parents will need to be aware of this. It will be important from the very beginning of your relationship with parents, there is an understanding and they can tell you something in confidence, you may have to share the information with your superior. It is important never to gossip about parents or their children. It is important never to discuss one parent with another.
It is important not to make judgments about children or their parents. Some information needs to be shared with the all the staff, in particular diet,
allergy, religious rituals, if the child is being collected by someone other than their main carers, general records on pupils individual teachers’ records of assessment, SEN information on pupils. Under the Data Protection Act 1998, information about pupils needs to be kept in a secure place. Never take any information off site and do not provide opportunities for others to gain access to it. When sharing information with colleagues only discuss points they need to know. If you notice any breaches of confidentiality always report the matter to an appropriate member of staff.
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