Communication and Professional Relationships with Children, Young People and Adults

Last Updated: 17 Aug 2022
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Effective communication is important in developing positive relationships with children, young people and adults. Effective communication creates positive relationships. You have to model excellent communication skills with the children and adults you work with on a daily basis. You should always think about how you approach people and how you respond back, doing so in a positive manner will help you achieve more information and communication in the long run because you are beginning to build a positive relationship with that child/person and this benefits them.

We must always think about how we communicate and always make sure it is for the good of the pupil and the school. Always set a good example by behaving the way you would expect your pupil to. If you do not communicate effectively it can break down and that’s where misunderstandings occur and this can lead to negative feeling.

When you use effective communication this creates a strong and positive relationship and your pupils will benefit fully from that given situation.

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Explain the principles of relationship building with children, young people and adults

The main principle of relationship building is to make others feel comfortable and at ease, if they are, they are more likely to communicate effectively. It is very important to be respectful and courteous and to listen to what they have to say. Always respect the views of others, especially if they have different cultural beliefs or values.

Take the time to listen to others, this is not always easy when you are so busy but it is extremely important to build a positive relationship, always show that you are interested in what they have to say, they may need to confide in you.

Have a good sense of humour, when appropriate this lightens peoples perception of you and can help people who are feeling stressed, laughter is a good way of relaxing.

Always be clear on the reason you are communicating, giving people mixed messages does not create a good working relationship, a good way of making sure people have received clear information is by asking them to repeat what is expected of them.

Being considerate is a must as you may be working with a child or adult who is under strain due to work or home matters. If you are being considerate in that situation this will help you understand if they respond out of character and you may be able to help.

Explain how different social, professional and cultural contexts may affect relationships and the way people communicate

It is important that you adapt your communication in different situations and always consider the context in which you are working. It is extremely important how we dress and present ourselves to others, if you are going into a formal meeting with managers and parents wearing jeans and trainers for example, this would not give a professional image of you or the school you work for.

It is important if you say to either a child or an adult that you are going to get back to them with an answer, you do so as efficiently as you can, this also applies to how we respond to letters and messages and always make sure you check your spelling and grammar.

Try to increase your knowledge of different cultures, as the way they behave or respond maybe different to you for example it is not polite to look another person in the eye when speaking to them in some cultures.

Explain the skills needed to communicate with children and young people

There are certain skills needed and these skills must be used everyday in order to communicate effectively and to make the child/adult feel valued.

Always make eye contact when a child is speaking to you, if you say you are listening but continue to write or look at something else it shows you are not really interested in what they have to say, giving your full attention shows that you are engaged and listening.

Bring yourself to the level of the child this is less intimidating than towering over them. Always smile and react positively, use positive body language, don’t sit there with your arms tightly folded or your shoulders tense this can create tension, express your face when responding to what they have said this shows you are listening.

A good way of showing that you are listening is to repeat what they have said and this can extend their communication by telling you more or you may need to comment on incorrect use of words to help them for next time.

Always give a child an opportunity to speak this will help with their confidence and their need to express themselves and encourage them to ask questions, this will help them build conversation skills.

Explain how to adapt communication with children and young people

  • The age of the child or young person

Different ages require different levels of attention. You may need to use more physical contact to reassure very young children then as the children become older you can help talk through their concerns, you will always listen and react positively choosing correct vocabulary.

  • The context of the communication

Depending on the situation you need to be aware that you may need to change your verbal communication accordingly, always make sure the children are focused and pre-empt any distractions and get ready to deal with them with as little interruption as possible or if you are having general chit chat in the playground, use humour to respond to difficult questions such as Where do you live, What is your first name etc..

  • Communication differences

Make yourself aware of the children with communication issues and always be sensitive to them by giving them more time so they do not feel pressured when speaking or signing. Some children can be very anxious so it is important to make them feel comfortable in the setting. It is important if a child has a stammer or speech impediment you do not speak for them, you cannot guess or assume you know what they wanted to say and this can create anger and stress. Do not be afraid of asking for additional training if you are working alongside children who use signing to communicate, for example – Makaton.

Explain the main differences between communicating with adults and communicating with children and young people

Always remember that certain things stay the same such as being courteous and respectful and showing that you are interested, however, you must remember that if you are in a school setting and you are dealing with a child or young person you maintain that carer/child relationship and responsibility. You should not offer physical contact with children. Always be clear in what you say and what is expected of them and adapt your vocabulary accordingly.

Explain how to adapt communication to meet different communication needs of adults.

You must be sensitive when communicating with other adults, try and find out
as much as you can beforehand, you may find they have communication difficulties, they maybe hearing impaired so always make sure you are facing them and speak clearly so they can lip read or the person may speak another language or very little English, make sure you have plans in place if required.

Explain how to manage disagreements with children, young people and adults

A lot of the time disagreements are due to a lack of communication in the first instance and the best thing to do is to sort things out very carefully so the bad feelings do not persist. You must always respond with a positive attitude and polite manner and be sensitive to the other person’s feelings, if you feel the disagreement is spiralling out of control you may need to call in a mediator this being another member of staff who can maybe help sort things out, but hopefully if you are using the correct communication this should not be required unless you were somehow in a disagreement with a child, always seek advice from your line manager if this is the case.

The best way to resolve disagreements is to find the cause and then decide on a course of action together. Offer encouragement and support.

Summarise the main points of legislation and procedures covering confidentiality, data protection and the disclosure of information

Data protection act 1998 – To provide a safe environment for our children we as a school are able to obtain certain information which is relevant such as, health and medical information, records from previous schools, records for children who have special educational needs. All this information is confidential. Parental consent would be required if this information was requested by another source.

Every child matters (England 2003) – stresses the importance of sharing information between professionals, communication between us, is the key to help prevent tragic cases.

You should not pass on information about the school or the children without being 110% certain you can, do not feel pressured to do so, always seek advice from your line manager if you are unsure.

Explain the importance of reassuring children, young people and adults of the confidentiality of shared information and the limits of this

It is extremely important that you communicate and explain fully your reasons for requiring the confidential information, you would make sure that you followed correct procedures and ask for consent if required, you also need to promote a professional image so people trust you to deal with the confidential information with the utmost respect that is needed. By doing this the children, young people and adults feel reassured their confidential information is handled appropriately and used effectively.

Justify the kinds of situation when confidentiality protocols must be breached.

If a child, young person or adult confides in you and you suspect child abuse or they are at risk or danger of someone or something never promise to keep it a secret you would have to tell the child, young person or adult that you are unable to keep it confidential for this reason and then you must tell and seek advice from your safeguarding point of contact.

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Communication and Professional Relationships with Children, Young People and Adults. (2016, Aug 24). Retrieved from

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