Use of language is important when talking to children. Factors you need to consider when trying to communicate effectively with others could be their age. For example, In my childminding settings the first thing I consider when working with children is simplifying my language. In order to communicate with the child effectively, I meet them at there level, this insures that we maintain eye contact and the child doesn’t feel patronized. I am aware of my own posture and body language, whilst also assessing theirs so that I am able to gauge their emotions, this gives me the opportunity to be able to respond appropriately. It is important that I show that I am listening to the child and interested in what they are trying to communicate to me. Sometimes it takes a while for a child to communicate there needs, so I continuously focus on looking interested. If I seem uninterested or bored, the child is less inclined to carry on communicating which may affect their confidence for when communicating in the future. Communicating with an adult is different, the language we use will be more complex and the sentences will flow much faster. Good eye to eye contact and facial expressions still remains important to help communicate with one another. Adults also need to feel valued, so good listening skills are key to effective communication.
Allowing the other person time to respond before you start to talk again is also an important factor in effective communication. Effective communication isn’t just achieved by verbally expressing yourself. Modern technology can also used to exchange communication such as feelings, choices, wants, needs and information. This can be particularly useful for children with speech delay or learning difficulties. For example, In my setting photos of the toys/equipment on the front of the boxes and draws tells the children where the items are to go after use. Or at snack time the children can see the choices available on the snack chart in photo or picture form. Phone calls, emails and reports are also factors to consider when promoting effective communication. A louder more direct communication maybe required, if trying to get the attention of a group of children to come back inside from the garden/ outdoors. However, this would not be suitable in a situation where a child is upset, a more calm and understanding tone is needed in a sensitive situation such as wetting themselves.
Ways of non verbal communication are:
Facial gestures, again this must be tailored to the situation or topic. For example: in the case of a child wetting themselves, a smile and a gentle hand on their shoulders is sufficient to the situation whereby a frowning and waving arms as if annoyed would be detrimental to the feelings of the child. Eye contact is an important factor as this engages the audience, keeping them focused on the discussion. By making eye contact your are directing your conversation at that person and showing that you are devoting your time to listen. Body language: Your body language can indicate a number of ways of communication like folded arms can indicate you are defensive or not open to suggestions. In the case of a deaf or hard hearing child/adult, Lip reading is a vital form of communication to avoid the person feeling isolated. It is important that the person is able to read the sound of speech and clearly see the movement of the lips, this enables the communicator to effectively communicate with the deaf person in a way that produces a desired result.
Courtney from Study Moose
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