1.1 - The importance of effective communication in developing positive relationships with children, young people and adults
The importance of developing good relationships with children, young people and adults alike cannot be stressed enough. It is vitally important that we demonstrate and model effective communication skills with positive interactions as children are more likely to respond favourably to this. We must know and understand the boundaries of passing on information whilst observing school policies and confidentiality. We must continually check and process our information in moments of stress or excitement so that the children understand our expectations. In a way we should ‘practice what we preach’ or children will find it hard to understand acceptable boundaries.
The element of trust must be gained, for without this it is difficult to envisage any real positivity or respect to be formed. In all cases good listening skills are equally important. Particularly with children it is not good practice to simply tell children what to do. Allowing children to talk and responding on their own language level will help them feel their views are valued and will improve their own self-esteem. If a child is perturbed or upset, it is not always easy to find an instant or easy solution, so the more we let them talk and choose our replies carefully (and this may be very little dialogue from us) the more we will gain their trust. I have personally found it good practice to physically be on their level whether teaching or dealing with any problems they may be experiencing.
It is particularly important that older children and teenagers are allowed to be heard and express themselves. We may not entirely agree with what that have to say but our attention is vital if they are distressed in any way. Again, it may be good practice to go away and reflect on their views...