Interact effectively with children Essay Example

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INTERACTING EFFECTIVELY WITH CHILDREN

Interacting Effectively With Children

Assessment Instrument 1- Short Questions

  1. What indicators can a child give you that they have had enough time on a task?

Children are very interactive when carrying out tasks. They react either positively or negatively to their environments and either of the reactions is a manifestation of the psychological state and other external and internal factors that affect carrying out tasks. When they enjoy a given task children generally show great attention in carrying out the task. Smiling and laughing and a general jovial mood by the children is an indication that they are still enjoying the task. However, depending on their age children will show various indicators that can give a hint that they have had enough of the task. Walking or crawling away from the task is a common indicator amongst toddlers. Older children will use facial expressions and gestures to show their frustrations with the task. Others will say outright that they have had enough. Some will also show their boredom with the task by losing concentration, playing with other things, looking away especially from the teacher or adult task leader while others will doze off.

  1. Why is communication important when a child is demonstrating emotion?

Communicating with a child when he or she is demonstrating emotions is integral in fostering a close relationship with the child. This will help them feel at ease and comfortable and therefore open up on their problems, joys and happiness. This therefore helps in offering the appropriate help to the children especially when they are distressed. Communication at such times will help the adult in incorporating their own skills into fostering and helping the child to develop his or her social and emotional skills. Social and emotional skills are important interpersonal skills whose value will last for many years to come. But most importantly, communication during such times plays an integral role in promoting the child’s mental health. It promotes the general well being of the children. It motivates them and inculcate in them good communication values. These ultimately translate in improved performance on tasks including classroom work.

  1. How can you tell that a child is distressed? Name 3 indicators.

Contrary to the picture that most people have on childhood as a stress-free stage of life marked by worriless and incessant playing, children also get stressed. Children also have their own challenges that cause them both emotional and physical pain. They also get distressed just like adults albeit for different reasons. And like adults, they also have behavioral, physical and emotional indicators that show that they are distressed. The following three are some of the major indicators of distress amongst children:

  1. Loss of concentration: Depending on the nature and source of the problem children will show different levels of lack of concentration. However, general distraction is an indicator of distress amongst children.

  2. Social isolation: This is especially common amongst children growing in settings where proper communication skills are not fostered. They feel isolated, alone and sometimes misunderstood. They therefore withdraw from usual activities and tasks they use to participate in.

  3. Emotional outbursts: As the pressure builds up and the children try to deal with the distress alone by sometimes isolation to no avail, frustrations set in. This can lead to emotional outbursts even at the slightest of provocations.

  1. What can you do to comfort a child who is hurt, distressed or going through a grieving period?

Children are always vulnerable when it comes to dealing with distress. Their emotional, physical and general maturity does not accord the capabilities and capacities to deal with hurt, distress or grief as most adults. To comfort them, it is imperative that children in such conditions are shown love, caring and understanding. Together with creation of a supportive environment, this will enable the adult to build trust. This trust and understanding will enable them to open up. Once such an outlet has been established, the children can share their problems and grief and emotions. It will lift most of the emotional burden off their shoulders and they can well be on the path of emotional recovery and stability. Actively engaging the child in fun activities such as reading story books, making art pieces and playing games can help taking their mind away from the pain and grief. Teaching the children on problem solving strategies and ways of dealing with grief can help them lessen the pain. Efforts must also be made to keep the children away from distressing pictures especially from the media including television. In addition, serving as a role model in dealing with grief and pain will offer children a solid foundation for learning how to deal with distress and pain.

  1. List any 3 tips that you could share with other staff when they are settling new children into their care.

Children are easily distressed and a change of environment for new children is one of the major causes of distress. The following will help the staff in dealing with the new children as they try to settle into their care:

  1. Give the children a genuine and listening ear and attention which will help in discerning their challenges and therefore devise ways of helping them cope with the new environment

  2. Inculcate good social and communication skills through teaching and role modeling to enable them adapt to their new environment

  3. Respond and deal with the problems of the new children in your care appropriately and effectively and with the immediacy they merit

  1. Name 2 activities you could use to ensure you have direct contact with each child in your service?

Direct contact with children is imperative in close monitoring and interaction with the children. It enables the caregivers and educators an opportunity not only to mentor them but also identify and solve their problems. The following two activities allows for direct contact with children:

  1. Reading story books

  2. Playing games

  1. Communicating positively with children varies according to the age of the child you are communicating with. What styles of communication are important in the following age groups? Provide at least 2 for each category.

Children are vulnerable because of their levels of emotional and physical maturity. They usually find it difficult to deal with anxious and stressing moments. Effective communication is therefore important for every age group.

Age group

Communication style

Babies and infants

Submissive

Toddlers

Submissive

3 – 5 year olds

Assertive

6 – 12 year olds

Assertive

  1. What are 4 ways you can promote positive behaviour in children?

  1. Playing simple games with the baby

  2. Cuddling, singing and talking to the baby

  3. Read simple stories to the baby

  4. Take the baby for walks

  5. Mimic and reply the baby’s words and sounds

  6. Use facial expressions, gestures and vocals to teach the baby communication skills

Toddlers:

  1. Teach the toddler words or letters and numbers

  2. Ask the toddler’s questions about the stories in the book read together and answer his or hers appropriately

  3. Politely correct his or her wrong use or pronunciation of words

  4. Take the toddler to the outdoors including parks , zoos and parks

  5. Appropriately praise the child to inculcate and reinforce good behaviors

  6. Give the child attention to enable ease of monitoring and correction of behaviors

  7. Set simple and clear behavior standards and let the child follow them. Rebuke or correct him or her firmly and without fail

  8. Be encouraging and positive

  9. Be patient with the child

3 — 5 year olds

  1. Facilitate and enable the child to play especially with her age mates

  2. Play interactive games together

  3. Teach the child behavioral skills such as conflict resolution through role play and role modeling

  4. Set clear and objective behavior standards and consistent yet reasonable punishments and reward formula

  5. Reward positive behavior appropriately

  6. Encourage the child to engage in interactive outdoor activities to develop her emotional, social and cognitive skills and positive behaviors

  1. Outline at least 3 communication approaches you could use with children to consult and collaborate with them about the child care service?

Despite their relatively young age, the input of children in the provision of child care services is important contributor to success. Therefore, it is important that appropriate choice of communication approach is made to guarantee success.

  1. Informal approach: This approach will enable me to reach out to the children and make them comfortable because they will feel that I am at their level. This will enable them to open up more and offer their views on the child care service. Therefore, the challenges and successes can be identified easily and necessary and appropriate adjustments made.

  2. Formal approach: This approach will ensure that the behavior standards are consistently followed and effectively communicated to the children. Formal approach gives weight to these standards and instructions and the reward and punishment system.

  3. Integrated approach: This approach will create a warm and welcoming atmosphere which is inviting for the children while also ensuring that they follow set behavior standards.

  1. State 2 ways you can encourage children to try out new ideas and interests?

  1. Role modeling: By offering new ideas and taking time to participate in them, children are highly likely follow the cue and follow the lead. Taking the lead will erase any doubts they have about new ideas and therefore encourage them to venture into the unknown. This is especially effective when it is done by people close them especially their parents, guardians, siblings and caregivers. It gives the assurance and confidence needed to try new ideas.

  2. Moral and material support: Some new ideas require the input of an adult especially material support to actualize. More often than not, the dreams of children are killed by lack of both moral and material support. This is especially important in ideas born out creativity such as painting and other artwork, experimentation and outdoor activities.

  1. How can we interact effectively with children from different cultures?

Children are from different cultural background. And sometimes, these cultural differences may conflict and therefore impeded effective interaction and communication within the child care service entity. The differences may be among the children themselves and also with the care givers. However, an effective child care service provider must be able to transcend these cultural boundaries and ensure that communication and social interactions within the institution is effective and meaningful and fosters harmony. The first step towards effective interaction with children from different cultures is to understand and accept that individual culture is an inalienable right. Therefore, the children and the whole fraternity of the facility should be made aware that individual cultures are not weaknesses but rather, they are part of our uniqueness as humans. Understanding through learning and reading about the children’s unique cultures will reduce chances of cultural conflicts. It will also disarm the children as they will easily identify with those care givers who identify with and understand their culture.

  1. How can we ensure that our language is not gender specific and non stereotypical?

Effective communication is a delicate matter that requires careful considerations. Drawing what is ethical wrong or right is a delicate balancing acts that depends on various factors including and individual’s upbringing and value beliefs. However, the society today has become overly sensitive and therefore terms, phrases and language that are considered to be prejudiced are bound to cause conflicts. To ensure that our language is not gender specific and non stereotypical, we can use general or compound nouns when referring to people. Such words as ‘chairperson’ are gender nonspecific and show respect to the individuals being refereed to. Moreover, we can also refer to the individuals directly by their names instead of gender specific names. This also applies to stereotypical words which may demean individuals. Names with racial, religious or cultural stereotyping connotations must be avoided.

  1. How can we use clear communication to encourage a child’s cooperation?

Children are very sensitive and require very weighed and well thought messages delivered through effective channels and approaches in order to ensure effective communication and cooperation. Children require simple and straightforward communication in order to act in a desired manner. Clear communication provides this platform because it has the requisite conciseness that can enable children to cooperate. Children can only cooperate if they understand the information being disseminated. Such information therefore includes the tasks and undertakings in which their cooperation is required, their level of engaged in the cooperation and the role they are supposed to play. Clarity will generate interest in them and if sustained throughout the cooperation, can ensure that they do not get bored easily. Most children have a short concentration span and without clarity of the rewards, consequences and nature of the cooperation, they may lose interest easily.

  1. What service policies must we consider when applying limits to children’s behavior?

Service policies are statements which will define and outline the limitations of the children’s behavior when considered within the confines of the goals and objectives of the care giving institution and parenting in general. Such policies also come with how they will be applied by all the stakeholders of care giving. Service policies will set the limits by:

  • being reflective of the recommended positive behavior standards and attitudes

  • reflecting the recommended attitudes and appreciating the importance of interactions amongst all child care stakeholders

  • showing understanding of the various external and internal factors that influence children behavior

  • explaining the commitment of all caregivers and responsible agencies in helping to develop positive play behaviours and attitudes

  1. How can we use these policies to reflect on our own values and work performance?

The service policies are applicable to our own values and work performance. It will us understand factors affecting our behavior and attitudes. it can also help us in understanding the importance relationships with various members of the society and relevant agencies. They can also help us in setting our behavior and attitude standards.

  1. What factors can contribute to inappropriate behavior?

Inappropriate behavior is contributed to by:

  1. Environment: The past and the present environment can inculcate inappropriate attitudes and behaviors in individuals. Individuals growing up in environments marred in violence and devoid of love tend to copy such inappropriate behaviors from their environments.

  2. Peer pressure: Individuals especially children are vulnerable to the negative influences of their peers who they copy in a bid to fit into the social grouping. The effect is rather profound if the individuals lack a strong moral foundation to help them resist the temptation of being copy cats of even bad behavior.

  3. Psychological problems: Children and individuals with mental disorders usually fight it difficult to develop positive behaviors and right attitude.

  1. How can we develop a child’s self esteem?

Self esteem is an integral part of positive behavior development. To develop a child’s esteem, the following can be used:

  1. Deserved and proportionate praise: Self esteem is the measure of individual worth. Therefore, giving children deserved and proportionate praise will be an indication of their self worth. It will encourage them to develop and act in the desired ways and view themselves as worthy of being appreciated. It will enable them view themselves positively and not look down upon themselves

  2. Rewarding positive behavior: Rewards are incentives and motivations that stimulate positive thinking and behavior. By giving the children rewards in measured proportions where they are deserved will help them to have a positive view of their capabilities as individuals. It will help them develop a positive attitude towards themselves and capabilities.

  3. Role modeling and mentoring: By allowing children to interact with their peers with good attitudes and behaviors, it is possible for them to take an inward look at themselves and start developing positive attitude self image.

  1. How can we ensure that we are meeting the needs of children with developmental disabilities?

To help children with developmental disabilities, it is important to first identify the disability. This will ensure that the needs of the child are identified and appropriate plans mapped out to meet them. Such a plan should include the various relevant agencies to collaborate in providing these needs. Therefore, collaboration and cooperation between the parents, guardians, care givers, the children and the various agencies is important in helping children with special needs. Collaboration is an appreciation of the complex nature of the special needs of these children and also the contribution of the external factors to the successful integration of these children into the society.

  1. What are the rights of children?

Like all humans, children have rights which are inalienable. Children have the right to quality education and health care services. They also have a right to quality life. They also have the freedom of expression and speech. Children have the freedom from slavery and forced labor as well as the freedom of movement. Just like adults, children also have the freedom of association. However, like those of adults these rights and freedoms are governed by the law and can only be enjoyed within the confines of the law and therefore can be limited by such. Moreover, their age also limits their ability to enjoy these rights and freedoms. Considered by the law as minors, most of the decisions are made on behalf of the children by the parents, guardians, care givers and the authorities. Moreover, children with mental problems are incapable of enjoying all these rights outright and are therefore reliant on others to enjoy these rights.

  1. How can the service communicate guidelines to children, parents, potential users of the service and relief staff?

The service can communicate the guidelines to the children, parents, potential users and relief staff through the mass media because it has the capability to reach a wider audience. Word of mouth and referrals can also play a critical role in communicating the information. It is more convincing but is limited in terms of reach. Posters can also be used and are cost effective but its reach is confined to those capable of reading and interpreting the information thus displayed.

  1. Briefly describe how children learn.

Learning by children is the sum total of their active involvement in knowledge construction and building new ideas and concepts based upon current knowledge and past experience. They also learn via response to reflex response to stimulus. Behavior acquisition and hence learning can be reinforced through punishment or a reward system.

References

Early Childhood Australia Inc, 2007, The code of ethics. Retrieved May 2, 2007, from http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/code_of_ethics/early_childhood_australias_code_of_ethics.html

National Childcare Accreditation Council Inc, 2005, Diversity in programming. Family Day Care Quality Assurance Factsheet #4, NSW: Author.

Porter, L, 2003, Young children’s behaviour: Practical approaches for caregivers and teachers (2nd ed). NSW: MacLennan & Petty.

Porter, L., 2006, Children are people too: A parent’s guide to young children’s behaviour. Adelaide: East Street Publications.

Stonehouse, A., 2004, Dimensions: Excellence in many ways. NSW: National Family Day Care Council of Australia.

Stonehouse, A., & Gonzalez-Mena, J., 2004, Making links: A collaborative approach to planning and practice in early childhood services, NSW: Pademelon Press.

Valentine, G., 1999, “Being seen and heard? The Ethical complexities of working with children and young people at home and at school”, Philosophy & Geography, Volume 2, Issue 2. Pp 141-155

Tansey, S., 2006, Equity for children and families. Outside School Hours Care Quality Assurance Factsheet #8, NSW: National Childcare Accreditation Council Inc.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 2004, Physical punishment and discipline (including smacking). Retrieved May 2, 2007, from http://www.racp.edu.au/index.cfm?objectid=A4254F55-2A57-5487-DFE129631BCB4C59

UNICEF (n.d.), Fact sheet: A summary of the rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Retrieved April 4, 2007, from http://www.unicef.org/crc/files/Rights_overview.pdf