Quality Area 5 – Relationships with Children… Sure we all like children, it is what we got into the sector for. But this is more than liking children and thinking they are cute and fun, this is about meaningful relationships that will support development. Here are 5 tips to help you with quality area 5…
Get to know each child –There are children who make themselves known, who are very outgoing, who are constantly chatting to educators and stand out as the enthusiastic children. There are the children who we say their name countless times a day because they do everything at full force and there is no caution or consideration involved. These children are easy to get to know. They make themselves known. How well do you know the shy children, the introverted children or the children who are happy just engaging in solitary play? If you don’t know these children, how can you include them and their interests in your program?
Understand how to support children’s behaviour – Children often act out to gain attention, to test limits and boundaries, or out of boredom or frustration. By identifying why children are acting out we can often support their engagement with the program and therefore rectify some behavioural issues. By playing alongside children you can step in and role model appropriate behaviour and support their understanding of how to react in future disputes.
Support children’s dignity – Put yourself in the children’s shoes… would you like to be laughed at when you do something wrong, when you didn’t know any better? Would you like to be yelled at from across the room instead of having someone come to you and speak to you personally? Would you like to be stripped off in the middle of the room to be changed while other children watch? Would you like to be shamed for wetting yourself, or eating slowly? If you have answered no to these then perhaps consider how you treat the children in your service and whether you maintain their dignity at all times.
Understand developmental needs – To build relationships with children and develop the trust to support these relationships it is helpful to know each child’s developmental needs. Infants need to build trusting and supporting relationship through constant interactions with key educators. Toddlers needs a secure base to return to as they start to explore, they will make mistakes, they will make messes, they will not want to share, so don’t put pressure on them to be something they can’t.
It’s ok to just chat – When was the last time you sat down and just chatted to children? Not taught, not pushed for an observation, not held a mini Q&A, but just chatted? It is amazing to really be present and listen to the children, discover more about them and build on relationships. By just chatting as well the children are going to build trust, while learning a range of different skills like turn taking, patience, vocabulary, new knowledge and feeling secure and safe.
If you would like support with anything in your service please feel free to get in touch through http://www.rare.support
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