Communication and professional relationships with children, young people and adults

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Outcome 1 Understand the principals of developing positive relationships with children, young people and adults

1.1 Effective communication is important in developing positive relationships with children, young adults and parents. There are many reasons why effective communication is important. Firstly having effective communication with parents and other adults is important, as building a positive relationship with parents and adults means they will be more helpful in supporting the school. It also means they will be more willing to support their children with homework. Effective communication is very important in developing positive relationships with children; one of the main reasons for this is because children behave positively if they have a role model and a positive relationship with that particular adult. They will also learn and copy from the behaviour of the adult in forming their own relationships with other children, adults and parents.

1.2 There are many different principles of relationship building with children, young people and adults. These principles can take many forms. Children and adults have to feel comfortable in their surroundings to build positive relationships otherwise they may feel that they try to avoid particular situations which can stop them from building the positive relationship. There are a few principles that need to be considered when building these relationships. A person has to be an effect communicator when forming these relationships; an effective communicator has to have many skills to make this work. They have to be clear in what they are saying.

There are many situations that can lead a conversation astray, at the end of the conversations the points have to be made clear so there are no misunderstandings on either side. They have to be considerate and show respect, listen to others and respect their views; this could be a personal opinion, a cultural belief or a religious view. With being considerate, a colleague, young person, adult or child may have different pressures in other aspects of their life therefore being considerate will help build the positive relationships. This would then also include remembering personal issues in the person’s life. Finally it is important to see the funny side of situations occasionally and humour may be a good ice breaker when in a difficult situation to build the positive relationship.

1.3 Different social, professional and cultural contexts may have an effect on relationships and the way we communicate. This affect can be both positive and negative. Depending on where we are and what situation we are in depends on how we talk and respond. Adapting the way we talk in different contexts will have an impact. For example if we are attending a formal meeting then we would use formal language, however if it was a conversation in the staffroom then it is possible that informal language would be used. It would not be appropriate to attend a meeting with a colleague or a parent and use informal language as this would have a negative effect on the relationship that has been built.

Formal language would be used at events such as parents evenings and parent days. Communication can also hinder relationships as well; there are many different ways of communication for example by emails and by phone. Sometimes these emails or phone calls can be misinterpreted as the other person is not able to see body language or have eye contact, also emails can come across as less personal and quite informal. Cultural context can also have an effect on relationships and the way we communicate as we have to be aware if due to cultural influences you may not be able to look them in the eye, or may not be able to communicate with a particular partner, this will have an impact on how communication is used and the way in which we communicate.

Outcome 2 understand how to communicate with children, young people and adults

2.1 There are many different skills that are needed to communicate with children and young people. Firstly you have to find the appropriate time and appropriate place to have a conversation. You have to be willing to communicate when it is necessary and appropriate. When you have an appropriate and convenient time to talk it is vital during the conversation that eye contact should be used. This is important as it shows the speaker that you are listening and not thinking about other things, it also shows that you are being attentive. Another vital skill needed to communicate is listening. This is integral when communicating as the speaker needs to know that you are listening to what they are saying. It is also important not to interrupt when you are having a conversation as this sends messages that you are not listening. Another skill that is important is body language, using your body to show that you are listening is important as it shows you are understanding and willing to keep listening, for example when talking to a young child you should get to their level as it can be quite intimidating a tall adult overlooking a child.

Facial expressions are also a key skill as smiling is a way of showing someone you are listening to what they are saying. Checking understanding and commenting on what is being said it vital, this means that the child or adult knows you are listening and it is a way of clarifying what has been said, also for young children it can be a way of correcting grammar in a sentence. A two way conversation is particular important with children as it is modelling to them how to communicate. Finally questioning is important, it shows children and young people that you have listened to the conversation and are interested in what has been said.

2.2 As a professional the way in which you have to communicate with young people and children differ according to the situation. Age – it is appropriate to adapt the way you communicate with children from being young to teenage years. If you are communicating to a young child then they may need more reassurance and maybe a bit of physical contact. For example if they are starting school for the first time they made need reassurance that everything will be ok and that they are not alone. Also when communicating with young children if they have had a personal issue they may feel the need for physical contact, such as a touch on shoulder or a gentle hug. As children get older and mature the way in which you communicate will be different.

There will be more mature conversations where you talk through the issues with the young person and get them to reflect on the issues and if they can see a way of dealing with them. Vocabulary will differ when talking to different age groups however positive interaction should continue through all age groups. Context – there will be many situations where the vocabulary that is used is adapted. Children and young people have to know the boundaries inside the classroom as well as outside. For example if in a classroom the vocabulary will be work focused and therefore off task talking will be addressed using different words.

For example in the dining hall or in the playground different communication will be used such as humour however it will still be within the professional role. Communication differences – there will be many children and young people that have different situations and personal situations that they will like to talk about. Communication will differ depending on the child’s or young person’s needs. For example when communicating with a child or young person care and sensitivity must be used, if this child is exceptionally nervous or anxious then approaching the situation will be different for example sitting with them at their level. If a child is registered as SEN then particular tools maybe used such as a feeling doll or equipment to play with while talking. Finally if a child has a speech problem communication will be different as you need to allow the child time to talk and not interrupt

2.3 – There are many similarities and differences when communicating with adults, children and young people. The skills that stay the same are maintaining eye contact throughout the conversation or work. To uphold the interest that is used when communicating and keep the facial expressions and body language. Courtesy and respect should be maintained through communication with all ages. One of the major differences is the language that is used. With adults the language and vocabulary is formal in certain situations and varied in others. When speaking to children or young people they may not understand some of the language or vocabulary that is used therefore it may have to be simplified or other words may have to be used.

This is to ensure that the children/ young people have understood what is being said and can not interpret it in any other way. The conversation must be clear and unambiguous again making sure that young people and children do not misinterpret what has been said or are confused. Another difference when talking to children or young people is to make sure that the communicating is at the right level so children can understand. Finally a difference when communication with young people and children is the level of physical contact. When working in a school environment physical contact is not permitted. With young children this can differ slightly as they may need comfort however as a general rule physical contact should not be encouraged with children or young people.

2.4 – there are many ways that you have to adapt communicating with adults. Firstly you must find out the background of a particular adult when preparing to meet with them. For example. , if a parent has a particular issue or there have been issues in the past then the communication needs to be sensitive. An adult may have difficulties such as a speech impediment or hearing difficulties. If this is the case then when speaking to the adult body language is important.

You should face the adult and communicate using sensitive vocabulary and using hand gestures where possible. There may be a particular issue where an adult or parent has not responded to letters that the school has given out. In this circumstance it is important that sensitivity is used and therefore the conversation is of an understanding nature. Finally an adult or parent may have another first language other than English. If this is the case then a translator may be needed within the meetings to help with the communication and understanding. In all cases communication must be adapted to the relevant situation using different language, vocabulary and communication skills.

2.5 – there are many different ways to manage disagreements with children, young people and adults. The reason for this is because there are many different situations and people respond differently to the communication skills that are used. One of the main reasons there are disagreements between children, young people and adults is because of poor communication. There are a number of reasons why poor communication can happen. Some children, young people and adults may find letters hard to understand and therefore may not respond to a letter. One way to solve this problem is to establish the cause first of all, then talk to the individual that is involved. Find a way where communication is effective and communicate by these means from now on.

Opposing expectations can also cause disagreements with children, young people and adults. If there is this type of disagreement then aims of the expectations, for example within the school, should be clarified and reasons why these are the expectations should also be discussed, hoping that there will be a common agreement on the expectations. Some parents and schools may have different values and ideas.

Again when dealing with this type of disagreement clarification should be used. Clarification of what the values and ideas of the school are and the reasons behind these ideas should be discussed. Children/young people and adults should work alongside each other and get to know each other. Sometimes children, young people and adults can become aggressive in situations whether it is because there are external pressures or they simply do not understand. In this particular situation the school should offer sensitivity and possibly offer support that is available to all.

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