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How to Use Body Language to Help People After Your Child and Youth Worker Training

child and youth worker training

Body language can sometimes be taken for granted as a skill. While it does occur naturally, learning to effectively communicate in professional settings with body language takes practice. Just like word choice and tone, body language affects the way others perceive and understand you. As a child and youth worker, you can provide support and strategies for families and children dealing with challenges. In many cases, these challenges are emotional, which means that it is important for you to effectively communicate in a way that is helpful. Read to learn some ways you can use body language to do this!

SOLER for Child and Youth Worker Training

The SOLER method was developed by Gerard Egan. He was a psychology professor who believed this strategy was an effective way for counsellors to communicate and practise active listening. The letters stand for sitting Squarely, Open posture, Lean in slightly, Eye contact and Relax. These elements create inviting, engaged body language. When you are relaxed, the person you are speaking with is also encouraged to relax. An open posture avoids crossing limbs, which can sometimes appear guarded or defensive. Sitting squarely facing the person you are with, leaning in slightly and maintaining eye contact all show you are paying attention.

In your career after child and youth worker training, these tips can come in handy when practising active listening. Since you will be helping people with sensitive situations, you will want them to feel reassured that you are there for them, present, and hearing what they say.

Body Language to Avoid After a Child and Youth Worker College Program

Body language has the ability to send not only positive signals, but negative ones as well. Often, these negative signals are unintentional. As you become more conscious and aware of your body language, you will be able to employ this knowledge to avoid making people feel uncomfortable.

Since you will help families who are dealing with stress, you should keep your body language neutral

Since you will help families who are dealing with stress, you should keep your body language neutral

One thing to watch out for is allowing your eyes to wander. When a person is speaking to you and sees that you are letting your gaze move around the room, it feels like you aren’t listening and don’t feel invested in what they are saying. Avoiding eye contact can also communicate a lack of confidence. In your profession, you will want to portray competence and trustworthiness by holding confident, moderate eye contact.

How You Can Use Facial Expressions to Communicate with Children and Families

Facial expressions are a big part of body language as well. Some people frown when they concentrate, so it’s possible that when you are very engaged, you adopt what could be seen as a negative facial expression. A furrowed brow or squinting can seem a little intimidating. Especially when working with children, monitoring this will help you keep them communicating and comfortable with you. Each child and youth worker course prepares you with skills that allow you to help families. Your body language skills enable cooperation with others to help you work more smoothly.

A neutral or friendly facial expression is best when dealing with families and their children. Many times they will be feeling tension or stress, and as a support person in their lives, you can offer a less stressful energy by maintaining command of your body language and facial expressions.

An inviting facial expression can make the difference between a nervous child and a comfortable one

An inviting facial expression can make the difference between a nervous child and a comfortable one

Are you looking for a child and youth worker college program?

Contact KLC College to learn more.

Considering Child and Youth Worker Training? 4 Qualities That Could Mean You’re Suited to the Job

child and youth worker course

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.

Students at KLC College can use their training to boost their communication skills

Students at KLC College can use their training to boost their communication skills

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 can help child and youth workers encourage children to think more positively

Optimism can help child and youth workers encourage children to think more positively

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.

Identifying Anxiety in Children After Child and Youth Worker Training

child and youth worker training

The world can sometimes be a confusing and daunting place for children, and in some cases, this can lead them to develop issues with anxiety. If you’re considering pursuing child and youth worker training, you will learn how to provide frontline treatment to children and youth who may suffer emotional challenges like anxiety disorder. As such, knowing how to identify the signs of anxiety in children is the first step towards assisting in their treatment.

Read on to learn just a few of the signs that can indicate a child may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Children with Anxiety Frequently Avoid Situations that are Triggering

Some children try to cope with their anxiety by avoiding triggering situations entirely. A child suffering from social anxiety disorder, for instance, will often find ways to avoid interacting with other children. For example, the child may claim they are sick to avoid going to a birthday party that they were invited to.

Avoiding these types of situations doesn’t treat the root cause of the anxiety and can sometimes make it worse. Avoidance can also make it harder for adults to recognize when a child has anxiety, which can lead to delays in diagnosing and treating the issue. Once you begin your career helping children, it’s important to be on the lookout for a child who is avoiding certain situations repeatedly, as this may be occurring due to anxiety.

Children with anxiety may avoid situations that can be triggering for them

Children with anxiety may avoid situations that can be triggering for them

Child and Youth Worker Training Teaches You to Recognize Disruptive Behaviour in Anxious Children

Children with anxiety can often exhibit disruptive behaviour, such as explosive outbursts, for example. While it is common for children to occasionally have outbursts, such as tantrums, those with anxiety may have a pattern of outbursts which can last more than 6 months. For instance, a child with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)—which is classified as an anxiety disorder by the World Health Organization—may have outbursts whenever their classmates do not put their toys away in a precise manner or do not enter or exit the classroom in a specific way. Such disruptive behaviour can be difficult for adults to understand and many times they may presume that simply punishing the child will solve the problem.

However, at child and youth worker college, you will learn that punishment is rarely an effective way of helping children through their anxiety-linked disruptive behaviour, since it does not address the root cause of the behaviour. In some cases, outbursts in class may simply be how a child reacts to a stressful situation at home, such as a divorce or the death of a pet.

Child and youth worker training can prepare you to identify and assist in treating disruptive behaviour

Child and youth worker training can prepare you to identify and assist in treating disruptive behaviour

Obsessing Over Unrealistic Scenarios Can Be a Sign of Separation Anxiety

Another sign that a child may possibly be struggling with an anxiety disorder is when they obsess over situations that are unrealistic or far into the future. For example, some children with anxiety may worry about their parents passing away, or about a natural disaster occurring. This type of worrying is often associated with separation anxiety disorder (SAD), where a child may refuse to be separated from their parents and could even suffer panic attacks if separate for just a short period of time. SAD is the most common anxiety disorder seen in children under the age of 12.

SAD is often a reaction to an event that is difficult for children to understand and process, such as moving to a new school or hearing a distressing story in the news like a kidnapping or a fatal car accident. Showing empathy towards children suffering from SAD—rather than getting upset with them—and using the techniques you will learn in child and youth worker training can help them cope better.

Are you interested in pursuing a career where you’ll have the opportunity to help children?

Contact KLC College to learn about our child and youth worker course!