The way we build good relationships with children changes according to their age and stage of a child. Having a positive relationship with children is important because when a child feels comfortable with us they feel that they can separate a lot easily from their parents, children are also more likely to join in play and activities if they feel secure. Practitioners can respond to children more effectively because they are able to recognise the child’s expressions and emotions, they can also plan more accurately as they understand the development needs and know their interests.
Children feel more confident talking when they have a positive relationship with somebody, they are also less likely to show unwanted behaviour as practitioners can recognise and meet their needs. Good relationships with children are built and maintained by communicating effectively, identifying and sorting out conflicts and disagreements, being consistent and fair, showing respect and courtesy, valuing and respecting as individuals, keeping promises and honouring commitments, monitoring impact of own behaviour on others, keeping confidentiality as appropriate and recognising and responding appropriately to the power base underpinning relationships.
Young people are all different from one another, this means that we need to approach and communicate with them according to their age/stage of development, needs and personality. Having a positive relationship with young people is important because young children are likely to undergo significant changes in their lives as well as physically growing up. Young children need to be able to turn to adults for advice, reassurance and to be understood. Young children are quick to identify adults that are likely to listen to them and emphasise with them. It is important that adults don’t dismiss young people’s problems, even if they seem to be out of hand. Young people may stop communicating altogether with adults if they feel that they are not being listened to, this could be worrying as most young children like to ‘warm up’ by talking generally before decided weather or not to talk about some deeper issues that are affecting them with trusted adults. Positive relationships with young children are built and maintained by respecting their views, which may seem a little different to our own, giving them a lot of your time and giving them a lot of responsibility, by doing this is shows them that you do have a lot of faith and trust in them.
It is important that we build positive relationships with parents/carers so that we can work together with them to benefit the child in a variety of ways. Parents/carers have strong emotional attachments with their children, they are the child’s ‘safe base’ and they have a personal reason for involvement in their child’s welfare and education. Settings need to have a positive relationship with all parents/carers, making sure that they are happy and feel safe to leave their children with us. Every setting that has a strong bond with parents/carers, parental participation and involvement is fundamental. Parents/carers are equal partners with valuable knowledge and information about their child to share with us, so it is important that we have positive relationships so this information can be shared with the setting, this helps settings understand and enhance the child’s development. Positive relationships with parents/carers are built and maintained by sharing development information with each other and learning about the child’s interests, gaining trust, having confidence whilst communicating, respecting them as individuals, trusting them and reassuring them at times when needed.
Agencies and other professionals-
It is important that we build positive relationships with everyone involved with the children that attend the setting because children do not come to our setting alone and it is very rare that we are the only people involved in the child’s education, development and well-being. Some children may have additional needs and may have a range of other people involved in their care, for example; a speech and language therapist or a social worker. This means that we must be able to establish effective relationships with a range of people from children’s families through to other colleagues or other professionals. Positive relationships are essential for good communication.
If we didn’t have good and positive relationships with agencies and other professionals then there could be a danger that information could be passed inaccurately or that information could be withheld because they feel we may not be trusted. Positive relationships are built and maintained by having mutual respect and the understanding that although everyone’s approaches may be different, everyone that is involved is working towards the same end which is the welfare and education of the children. Good relationships are built on trust and information that is given in confidence must remain confidential unless an issue arises about the child’s safety.