Interacting with children

Worker communicating with child.

This section is all about interacting and communicating with children. We will look at the ways we do that, through both language and actions, and how ‘getting it right’ can bring out the best in the children in our care.

One of our main aims as children’s services workers is to facilitate children’s learning through our interactions with them, and through appropriate role modelling. This includes how we interact with other adults, such as colleagues, and the child’s parents and caregivers. A child who is interacted with effectively has the best chance of learning to do it by his or her self.

When a child meets their caregiver for the first time, they observe the interaction between the caregiver and their parent. If they perceive that this interaction is positive, they will be more likely to embark on a positive relationship with the caregiver themselves.

Everything we say and do when we're around children can impact on their perception of appropriate behaviour and ways of expressing feelings. The things we say to or about children may have an effect on their self-esteem and emotional and psychological development.