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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.

Interested in Child and Youth Worker Training? How to Lead a Youth Workshop

child youth worker college program

Speaking to a room full of young children and/or teenagers and engaging them through a workshop can be both fun and challenging at the same time. If you’re considering youth worker training, and are hoping to lead youth workshops in your career, you will need to learn how best to entertain your young audience and keep them fully engaged — whether through speaking with them, engaging them in activities, or any other method you choose.

If you love working with children and think this career path might be right for you, read on to learn some of the ways you can lead youth workshops and ensure a gratifying experience for you and all others involved.

Know How Best to Discuss Your Topic with Young People

Leading a youth workshop will require you to have clear goals in mind. You might teach young listeners about important life skills, such as teamwork or problem-solving, or you could lead a workshop that’s tied to school subjects, like arts and crafts, computer skills, or drama. Regardless, you’ll need to effectively organize your ideas beforehand, and writing an agenda of talking points could be a good way of doing this.

Additionally, since you will be speaking to children and adolescents, you will need to avoid complex, overly technical explanations of your subject matter and explain topics in terms young people will understand. Either way, you’ll want to be sure about how best to present your workshop, and what you want the outcome to be.

Keep kids engaged during a workshop by having them participate in group activities

Keep kids engaged during a workshop by having them participate in group activities

Get Kids Involved and Engaged

Youth workshops are most successful when there’s involvement and active participation from everyone, so be sure to prepare activities, group exercises, and other ways your young participants can engage with the workshop to keep things fresh and exciting.

You can split your young participants into individual groups and have them work on activities as a team. You may want to walk around the room and see how things are going, before asking for each group to tell you what resulted from their exercise once it ends. You can openly invite questions from the children and encourage open discussion among everyone during the workshop’s conclusion to gauge how they enjoyed it, and what they learned. Make sure they’re able to participate and freely exchange ideas, so that it can be a fun and fulfilling experience for all.

Be enthusiastic and communicate well with children in your workshop

Be enthusiastic and communicate well with children in your workshop

Apply the Skills You Learn in Child and Youth Worker Training

If you’re studying to become a child and youth worker, you will learn how to cultivate practical skills such as interpersonal communication and patience, and how best to use them with young people. For example, KLC College’s Child and Youth Worker program includes a practicum/work placement, where students take what they’ve learned and apply it to a practical environment. This can be through a paid position or as a volunteer, and can be done either during their studies, or as their program is ending. It can also lead to employment opportunities like working in education, social service agencies, or children’s mental health facilities.

A youth workshop is an environment where your communication skills can truly come in handy, and can be a great way to showcase what you’ve learned from your child and youth worker training in a fun, relaxed setting. Be outgoing, energetic, open and empathetic to the children’s ideas and opinions, and receptive to questions. You’re hoping these children can take something positive and informative out of the workshop, so enthusiasm is the key to success!

Do you want to enroll in a child youth worker college program?

Contact KLC College for more info!

Effective Communication with Children: Tips for Students in Child and Youth Care Worker Training

become a child and youth worker
When it comes to working with children, communication can be difficult, especially because they are still developing proper speech and thought patterns, as well as their language capabilities. Early childhood and adolescence are vital periods in an individual’s life which can determine habits and behaviour later on. In Canada, communication skills are a high vulnerability area when it comes to 44.2% of children, and this can have a significant effect on how they interact with the world as they grow into adults.

In order to ensure that children are expressing their thoughts and feelings in a healthy manner, it’s important to practice good communication skills. Here are a few tips on how child and youth workers can communicate effectively with children and young adults.

Give Them Your Full Attention

Communication, more or less, is how we interact with not only other people, but ourselves as well. Children, despite the fact that they may not be fluent in language or conversation, are still people with thoughts, emotions, and perspectives. If you want to become a child and youth worker, it’s important to understand that when a child is attempting to communicate an idea or thought, they might not be at the right developmental or maturity level to express themselves, and interacting with an authority figure – usually an adult – teaches them how to behave and respond in social situations.

Engaging with children shows them that they can share their thoughts

Engaging with children shows them that they can share their thoughts

In order to properly address their needs and provide a beneficial lesson in communication, try to set aside any activity you might be engaged in, like using your phone or reading notes, whenever a child addresses you. This shows them that you are fully involved in what they are saying.

Making the effort to demonstrate that you’re paying attention teaches the child that they should also do the same thing when speaking to others. Paying attention to someone when they’re speaking provides them the opportunity to be cognitively engaged in the subject, and encourages future participation.

Be an Active Listener

When a child tells a story, it is often a way that they can review and determine how they should react to that experience based on how you, as the adult, react. Children, at any age before adulthood, are still learning vital lessons in behaviour and expression, and whether or not they admit to it, look to adults for structure and guidance. It can be difficult to show genuine interest or listen actively, but it’s important to demonstrate or reaffirm that you are listening and not simply ignoring or dismissing the conversation.

Actively listening involves patience as well as compassion. Interrupting or dismissing a child when they try to share a story or experience discourages them from sharing in the future. To show that you are engaging with what the child is saying, try to make eye contact and rephrase and repeat what the child has said to confirm or clarify their idea. Be objective, and prompt the child to explain how they feel about what they are trying to say.

Understanding is Key if You Want to Become a Child and Youth Worker

Communication, at its most basic level, is about understanding and being understood. Miscommunication is one of the greatest obstacles in any conversation, and making sure that you and the child are communicating clearly is a significant component of child and youth care worker training.

It’s important to keep an open mind, and think of their perspective. Children don’t have the life experience of a fully grown adult, and they are still learning how they fit into the world. You may have to get on their level, literally and figuratively. Try to be objective, and don’t condescend or talk down to a child. In other words, treat them as you would like to be treated. Additionally, because children seek positive attention, use words of encouragement or praise so that they feel they are being appreciated.

It’s important to have an open mind and consider a child’s perspective

It’s important to have an open mind and consider a child’s perspective

Are you interested in enrolling in a child youth worker college program?

Contact KLC College for more information!