Middle Years Development and the Importance of Creating Rapport and Relationships.
Adolescence is a distinctive developmental stage of life. Children face significant physical, social emotional and cognitive growth and development through the transition from childhood to young adulthood. During this time, it is essential for educators to develop positive relationships with middle year students and their families in order to maximise students’ sense of self and their overall wellbeing.
Educators play an important role during the stages of development and reciprocal relationships are evident when there are values based on respect between all participants. At the Y, we endeavour to create and maintain rapport and relationships with our children and their families. In order to develop positive relationships, we as educators must meet the needs of our children. Educators can do this by simply spending time with children and involving them in activities that they have discovered are of interest to them whilst providing a supportive and challenging environment. It is essential that educators show genuine concern for our children and talk ‘with’ and not ‘to’ them in order to develop and grow respect. Setting up children for success will result in positive self-confidence and a sense of identity and independence.
Middle year children are dependent on parents and adults for support and guidance, even when challenging authority and testing the limits of acceptable behaviour. To establish positive relationships with childrens’ families, ensure encounters are warm and friendly. It is essential for educators to declare that their intention is to work with them and that they appreciate their support. Communication should be frequent in order to share their successes. It should be in various forms as not all parents can stop to talk face-to-face.
Adolescence is a distinctive developmental stage of life and middle year children are seeking a sense of identity and independence. We as educators play a vital role in assisting children in achieving this. It is therefore essential that we develop positive rapport and relationships with everyone around us in order to meet the needs of our children. This will result in overall positive wellbeing and happy children, families and educators :)
By Teagan McKeown – Coordinator at YMCA Westside OSHC