How To Build Strong Relationships with Children

Early Childhood Educators are in a unique position. They’re trusted to help educate and guide children that are not their own and expected to have a deeper knowledge and greater understanding of childhood behaviour and psychology than the average parent.

Early Childhood Educators are expected to know how to relate to children effectively, and how to create strong relationships and deep bonds.

It takes many years and a diverse range of experiences to develop this understanding and knowledge. But we can expedite the process by hearing from other experts, and learning from their experiences.

Early Childhood Educators know how important it is to stay up to date with new thinking and approaches and hear about new research and how it can be applied in an early learning environment. And Government and policy makers are keen to support educator’s with their professional development and have committed to the sector over $200m via the Long Day Care Professional Development Programme (view more about this at LDCPD Programme).

With a commitment to advance thinking in our sector and challenge entrenched views,  Kool Kids Training College is sponsoring a one day Professional Development Event on the Gold on Saturday 16th July called ‘Day With The Best! PD Event.’

The following is a snapshot into a small selection of the issues and speakers at Day With The Best.

Understanding Complex Behaviour

Sandi Phoenix is the founding company director and Principal Facilitator at Phoenix Support for Educators.

Sandi understands that there are reasons that children act the way they do, even if their behaviour appears to have no reason. Often a child’s behaviour needs to be unpacked, but if we dig deep enough we’ll discover that their behaviour meets a need.

Behaviour, particularly complex behaviour usually fulfils a certain requirement that often relates to one or more basic human life needs.

Once we understand the need behind the behaviour we can help the child meet those needs in different and better ways. We can fill their metaphorical cup of needs more appropriately.

We can take a positive approach to guiding their expected behaviour and behavioural choices within the learning environment.

Giving Children A Voice

Carrie Rose is a member of the Logan Child Friendly Consortium and is currently engaged in the Logan Together project – a long term, whole of community effort to create the best life opportunities for every child in Logan.

Whilst Logan Together is a project based on a specific community, there are key strategies we can learn it. Particularly the way that sharing the competence of young children to the Logan community has influenced the shape of the project. These strategies can be successfully applied to other settings.

Involving the children of Logan in the Logan Together project was hugely successful and lead to a deeper understanding of how we can advocate for and with children in the community. Children can help create strong community ties and give us greater understanding of community needs and aspirations.

By understanding the importance of the relationship with children we can better support communities. We can work with children to ensure their voices are present in society, so they have a say in shaping the neighbourhoods they live in.

Building Strong Relationships

Strong relationships are based on trust and our relationships with children are no exception.

Whilst it’s tempting to use cute baby-talk with children, it’s not conducive to building a strong relationship based on trust and mutual respect. Utilising baby talk may seem fun, but it’s perceived as patronising, even by small children.

Louise Dorrat has extensive experience managing Early Year’s services including Inclusion Support, and she shares her perspective on respectful and authentic communication, versus cutesy and patronising.

Children want to be valued as individuals. They want their contributions to be appreciated and respected. They want to be understood and they want our responses to demonstrate that respect and understanding.

Invest in YOU

The above 3 speakers were involved with Day With The Best 2016. They, along with another 5 thought leaders in Early Childhood Education conducted 12 workshops at this one day PD event.

If you want to further develop your knowledge and understanding of the childhood profession, reserve your interest in the Day With The Best 2017 by leaving a comment below.

The Day With The Best is created for Early Childhood Educators by Early Childhood Educators and it brings together Australia’s leading experts.

Here’s what some people had to say about the 2016 event:

I’m so glad I was lucky enough to come. I can’t wait to implement it at work –  A. Barnes Kool Kids Nerang

Thanks for an inspiring, thought provoking day. I enjoyed every moment.” – T Eichmann TCS

The only dissapointing aspect was I could not attend all workshops!   – L. Bateman g8 Education

Reserve your interest in the Day With The Best 2017 by leaving a comment below.

2 replies
  1. Samantha Inglis
    Samantha Inglis says:

    Great blog! Building a strong relationship with children is very important to let them feel that they are secure and loved. Our children need the best attention and affection that we can give them. They need quality time from us. I am not a mother but I was able to study how to be a great carer and educator.


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