Working with children and youth in need can be a greatly rewarding profession. The demands of the job, however, mean that it takes a person who has the right skills and personality to succeed.
During your career as a child and youth worker, you will meet and work with children and youth who may be facing social, emotional, or behavioural challenges. Your training can prepare you with the knowledge and skills you need to provide support and guidance, and your personality can also benefit you just as much as the things you will learn in the classroom.
If you’re interested in becoming a child and youth worker, read on to find out if you have the right qualities that can help you succeed in this profession.
1. Patience is Important When You Become a Child and Youth Worker
Children and youth are in a crucial stage of development, and are still learning how to interact and process the world around them, as well as their own personhood.
It can be frustrating to repeat yourself, explain things multiple times, or handle classroom distractions, but patience can help you provide a more supportive environment that helps the children you work with grow in a healthy way. Children also learn by example from the adults around them and being patient can teach them the right way to approach a potentially frustrating situation.
2. Child and Youth Workers Know that Good Communication Helps Build Trust
A common mistake that many adults make is simplifying their vocabulary or grammar to match what they believe children can understand.
Children and adolescents are actually far more capable of communicating with themselves and others than some may think. The children you work with when you become a child and youth worker may have a difficult time learning to trust others, but having a natural talent for communication and treating them as an equal during a conversation can help you build a mutual relationship of trust and respect.
3. Flexibility is Key When Working with Children and Youth in Need
Every child or adolescent that you work with has different needs, perspectives, and history. This means that your approach can change depending on the individual you’re helping, which makes flexibility and adaptability an important characteristic for aspiring child and youth workers.
Being willing to change to meet each individual’s personal needs is a crucial part of succeeding in your career, and a child and youth worker course can teach you the different learning theories and strategies that you can use to find the best solution for the specific child you’re working with.
4. Looking on the Bright Side Can Help You Succeed as a Child and Youth Worker
A career as a child and youth worker means you may often work with children and adolescents who are dealing with serious situations in their lives, and having a naturally positive, optimistic attitude can help them feel less overwhelmed by the problems they’re facing.
Optimism doesn’t have to come in the form of grand gestures to help the children you work with. Recognizing the importance of small accomplishments and breakthroughs can draw their attention to the real change they’re making, and give them the positive affirmation and motivation they can rely on to continue forward.
Do you think a career as a child youth worker might be right for you?
Contact KLC College for more information about child youth worker training.