The job of building trust in kids that you’re not related to can be a tricky one in a professional setting. When working with children, trust is something that can take a long time to develop and seconds to shatter into a million pieces, so understanding how to engender and maintain it is a key skill for educators and carers alike.
So, if this is something that you’re struggling with or indeed, have no experience in, we’re here to offer 5 tips to get you started. We can’t promise that you’re going to be an expert by reading to the end, but you will have a clearer idea about what’s required.
Tip One - Open Your Ears
While boisterous kids are hard to ignore, the concept of listening is not the same as simply hearing. If you actively listen when working with children to what each little person has to say, you’ll understand the true meaning behind the words they use.
For instance, if a child shouts “I hate you!”, what they may actually be communicating is something like “I’m annoyed you’re not paying attention to me!”. Talk to the reason behind the outburst and the child in question will naturally trust you more.
Tip Two - Eye Contact Is Important
An important element of building trust is showing sincerity and genuine interest in what children have to say. A great way to do this is to make gentle, but direct eye contact and keep it throughout the entire conversation. Success when working with children is all about the little details, so when talking to a child, get down on their level and properly connect with them and their needs.
Tip Three - Follow Through On Your Promises
Another big factor where trust is concerned is ensuring that you follow through on any promises you make. It’s only natural because as adults, our trust levels drop when someone breaks a promise to us for no reason. Sometimes people make idle promises rather than just saying no, so make sure you’re making promises you can keep and keep them. Then you’ll engender trust in everything you do from then on.
Tip Four - Don’t Tell Little White Lies
When working with children, it’s important to get out of the habit of telling little white lies. While they may seem harmless enough to you, they set a bad example to the kids in your care and can instantly reduce trust if the child finds out.
Not only that, but it can be extremely confusing for children, as they’re always being told to tell the truth. For them to then find out their teachers or carers aren’t, kids can struggle to understand why.
Tip Five - Be Open About Mistakes
However old we are, we all make mistakes, so it’s important to show kids that it’s all part and parcel of being a human being. If you’re open about the mistakes you make in front of the children in your care, they’ll feel more comfortable about making their own - particularly when you’re around. Not only does this teach kids to be more open and not try to hide things they may have done wrong, but it also naturally makes them trust you more.
Develop Your Childcare Skills The Stress-Free Way
So, when you’re working with children, trust can be built gradually and solidly with the tips we’ve given you here today. It is only one element of what you’ll need to know, but the good news is that many other skills can’t be learnt with flexible, CPD-approved childcare courses from OCA.
These, like all of the courses we offer, are modular, video-based and can be taken at your own pace. If you’d like to know more about this or any of the online learning that covers 20+ different industries, visit us today at www.onlinecoursesaustralia.edu.au.
Alternatively, to speak to us directly about your training needs, call us today on 1300 611 404 and we’ll be more than happy to assist.