This workshop is to educate staff in regards to the different kinds of interactions they can have with the children they serve. We will examine both the variety and complexity of the kinds of interactions that we can have with our children, as well as learn some general rules about how we should interact with our children. At the end of this workshop, staff will have learned new interaction skills, interactions that should be avoided, and how to talk about the variety of interactions that can take place between a staff member and the child.
The interactions we have with a child can have a tremendous impact on their quality of life as well as affect our view of that child. The ways that we interact with children can greatly influence their behavior in both a positive and negative way. Think for a moment of the kinds of interactions that you have with your co-workers on a regular basis. How do you think you would feel about your work if you were only allowed to talk about business or were not allowed to joke around with staff you like? Much of the time, a person’s happiness in a particular setting is related to how well they like the other employees, and the reasons that we like people are largely based on the interactions that we have with them!
How would you feel about a person whose only interactions with you involve placing demands on you? No compliments, any small talk, no joking around, no questions, just demands. You would probably feel the same way that a soldier feels about his commanding officer (not very positive). On the other hand, how would you feel about someone who is always joking around, but never serious? You might feel that the person is irresponsible, or that they do not take their job seriously, other that they can be pushed around easily. The point here is that our interactions with other people, especially our children, need to be balanced and in order for us to achieve this balance we must be aware of the different kinds of interactions as well as how often to use them.
*Remember, what we say to people and children and how we say it can have a tremendous effect on behavior!
Next week, we will take a look at social interactions!