Communication and Professional Relationships with Children, Young People and Adults

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1.1.Effective communication is important in developing positive relationships with children and young adults because it helps the child to be able to communicate effectively with other people as they grow. Children react better to clear, concise communication and this in turn will help to build better relationships between child and adult and enable trust to grow, which is one of the key elements in building a relationship. It is also important to listen to the child and let them say what they want to say. Do not try to pre-empt or interrupt them. Try to keep your language and explanation simple and to the point. Make them feel that what they have to say is important and encourage them to talk and share their views. Where possible try and come down to the child’s level and make eye contact. Towering above a small child could make them feel nervous and shy. Be aware of how you say things and ensure that you are conveying the correct message. Be aware of the tone of your voice and the message you are trying to get across. 1.2The principles of relationship building with children and young adults are to ensure that the person feels safe and secure in your company. If they feel close to you and feel you care they will feel comfortable opening up to you. Get to know the child, show them that you are interested in them, call them by their name and be aware, wherever possible of their circumstances. Show them the respect that you would like shown to you. Also, wherever possible, have fun with them. Show them that you have a fun side to your character and not just the person who wants them to work all the time. 1.3Be aware that all people are different – different cultures, different home situations and different first language. You should keep this in mind when addressing other people and act accordingly. Also be aware of your body language and the way you dress....
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