Yvette Salvaris

Yvette Salvaris

Children look up to adults the same way that they look up to super heroes.  A child can form strong relationships with adults that they interact with on a daily basis. This could be as an educator, care giver or friend. It is important that we become a trusted person in a child’s life. This can only be done if we work hard at forming strong bonds and it is done in a respectful and positive way. The best way to develop positive relationships with children is to :

  1. Communicate positively with children
  2. Interact positively with children
  3. Support and respect children
  4. Maintain the dignity and rights of children

Communication is the key to any successful relationship.  We may view children as being very young and naive. In fact, some adults may see children as not being able to make decisions and choices. To maintain positive relationships, adults need to start giving children a voice and let them make decisions, this can be done by listing to their needs and wants.  When was the last time you really listened to your child?

So how do we implement this in our everyday practice? It can be as simple as:

  • Letting children participate in every day routines. For example, let children help clean tables before meal times, get children to help with chores.
  • Work with children not against them. Take a step back from being the person who disciplines and supervises the children. Instead try listing to them and asking them what they want.  Collaborate with the children in your care. Work with them to implement new and exciting things in every day life.
  • Ask children to create their own spaces, children love the sense of ownership it evokes a feeling of belonging and respect. Let children be a bit messy and create things such as cubby houses and forts.
  • Listen and watch body language of very young children and babies. Be warm and caring towards them, smile, use a soft toned voice

Building relationships can be hard work, building authentic relationships can be even harder. This is especially true when you are trying to build them with children. Trust, communication and listening are the key factors in building relationship with children. As adults, we need to respect their feelings and input.   Having strong bonds with children in helps to build a safe and trusting environment for all. If children are respected and cared for, then this is going to result in a feeling of well being and trust within the wider community.


You may also like to read:

10 Ways to teach children respect

Developing Important Communication Skills