What Qualities Do You Need to Work With Children?
Some qualities that are useful for working with children include patience, the ability to hide frustration or annoyance, the ability to stay calm during stressful situations and strong communication. Working with children offers unique challenges because they have not yet developed many of the skills and coping mechanisms of adults.
Patience may be the most important quality for working with children. Children process the world differently than adults, and communicating with them takes extra effort. Individuals who work with children frequently need to repeat themselves, explain what they mean and deal with distractions. Patience is a vital quality for staying relaxed and avoiding frustration.
The ability to hide frustration when it does occur is also a necessity. Adults have to be able to hide their boredom and irritability and keep on encouraging kids, even when it's difficult. Children can pick up on changes in mood, and sensing frustration in an adult can be demoralizing for them. In a similar sense, children can also sense when adults are scared or anxious, and it's important for adults to keep calm even during stressful situations.
Finally, adults who work with children need to possess excellent communication skills. Talking to children means more than just dumbing down complex concepts for kids. It means explaining ideas by using examples that engage children and help facilitate learning.