A positive relationship will enable a Child, Young Person or Adult to flourish with confidence in the security of knowing that the significant adult or carer in the position of authority respects and understands them and has their best interests at heart. This can be an adult to child or adult to adult relationship. This is a consequence of Effective Communication. We should treat all as individuals without preconceptions, assumptions and stereotypes. When intentions are clear and transparent a bond of trust can be formed. To communicate this successfully we must first take into account to whom we are speaking to. For example if it is a child, to be effective we must speak at their level, physically and verbally. Children learn how to communicate from significant adults in their lives and the world around them. We must be the role models that they can learn from. Children gain confidence through praise and encouragement and also constructive correction.
A child who is assured that you understand their feelings and will not be taking sides or dismissing them will be more willing to open up to you and in turn listen to what you have to say in return. My 7 year old daughter and her friends have disagreements occasionally and instead of me just telling her to ‘play nicely!’ and ‘because I told you so!’ when I calmly explain at a similar physical and verbal level to them and say ‘sharing can be double the fun’, and ‘how would you feel if….?’ This has proven a lot more effective for diffusing issues that children concern themselves with. They feel secure that they have been heard and that no sides were taken and have learnt that a problem can be solved by discussing it with each other. Effective communication with ‘Young People’ can be more challenging because there are other issues such as ‘raging hormones’ and changes in their lives such as school expectations and family responsibilities.
As children grow up and develop they are expected to be more mature. This can be frustrating, and can generate feelings of anger and negativity. Trust and empathy are huge factors when communicating with Young People. It is important to have an adult that they can approach and feel safe talking to. Young People will have formed their opinions and morals from their world around them and are more articulate at sharing them than younger children. However, now can be a time of conflict with authority figures and it can be emotionally difficult. They need to feel that they are respected and listened to and that they can communicate without being judged, it is also important that they are not left feeling vulnerable. Adults have had a wealth of life experiences that make us the individuals that we are. It is likely that most adults will be more confident and secure in their opinions and choices that they have made in their lives. Being respectful and listening to each other and ensuring that all parties understand, whether it is a colleague or parent will reinforce the relationships they hold.