I have talked to three different people about children. About being a child, working with children, about responding to children, comforting children and some other thoughts about children and emotions. Feelings in preschool and from someone who knows: What is it like to be a child today?
The ones I talked to are:
Kim, 11 years who love to write. She creates her own stories and explores different worlds through words. She has a lively imagination and spends a lot of time with daydreaming about adventure. Kim is eager to learn more about writing art and dreams of becoming a writer when she grows up. Then she will write books that make children feel good, she says.
Tina (23 years) is a socio -economic student who is passionate about helping children. She has recently completed her internship at a Montessori School, where she was given the opportunity to work closely with children and support them in their learning and development. She strives to create a safe and supportive environment for the children and is convinced that every child has unique abilities and potential to grow.
67-year-old childcare worker Agnes has spent many years taking care of children. Agnes has seen changes in how we interact with and raise children over time and have a unique insight into how society and technology have affected children's everyday lives. She has a broad perspective that extends from traditional approaches to more modern perspectives.
In other words, three people who have different ages and backgrounds, but who share a common passion for children and their well -being.
Interview with Kim, Tina and Agnes
What do you think are important qualities to have when working with children?
Kim (11 years): I think it is important to be kind and patient when working with children. You have to be able to listen and understand what they need. You should also be fun. And listen!
Tina (23 years): To work with children, it is important to be empathetic and responsive. You have to be able to get into the children's feelings and needs. Flexibility and adaptability are also important because each child is unique and has different ways of learning and growing. Being patient and having a positive attitude is also crucial to creating a safe and supportive environment for the children.
Agnes (67 years): An important characteristic for working with children is to be caring and have a genuine love for children. One must be responsive to their needs and be able to offer security and stability. I try not to judge and point fingers, but instead see every situation as unique. Time and presence is needed to create trust.
What do you think are the biggest differences in how you worked with children fifty years ago and now? (Kim I asked instead about the difference between now and when her parents were small).
Kim: I think a big difference is that there is more technology now. Today, almost all computers and mobiles have, and children can play games and watch fun videos. In the past, they may not have so much technology to play with. I also think that maybe there were stricter rules and more strictly before. Now we can have more freedom to choose what we want to do. Children are more important now. Then adults decided everything.
Thaw: One of the biggest differences is probably that there has been more focus on the child's participation and influence. Fifty years ago, it was more common for adults to determine everything and the children were allowed to follow. Now the child's voice is valued and there is an increased awareness of their rights and needs. There has also been a development in pedagogy and there are several different methods and philosophies to take into account. It is good!
Agnes: A big difference is that there has been more focus on the child's well -being and individual needs. Fifty years ago, when I was young, preschool was not the same either. Many were at home. And now we have more knowledge about children's development and the importance of providing each child with support based on their unique needs. There is also more awareness of the child's rights and protection, and there have been improvements in rules and routines to ensure their security. Children are human beings. It sounds awful, but so you didn't always think then, in my experience ..
Do you have any special adult who helped you or that you thought was good when you were a kid? What was so good about that person?
Kim: Yes, my mom has always been a special person for me. She is always there for me and supports me in everything I do. She is also good at listening to me and giving me advice when I need it. She is kind and caring, and I feel safe when I'm with her. I like that she is also fun and that we can have fun together. She is actually as crazy as me!
Thaw: I had a low school teacher who I thought was very good. She was very committed and inspiring. She showed a genuine interest in every student and listened to us. She created a safe and inclusive environment where we felt seen and valuable. She was also good at challenging us and helping us develop both academically and as people. So I did not understand it then, as a kid..but I have understood now afterwards that it was so.
Agnes: When I was a kid I had a neighbor who was like an extra grandmother for me. She was always there for me when I needed to talk or get comfort. She had a calm and safe presence that made me feel comfortable sharing my thoughts and feelings with her. She was also a fantastic listener and gave me wise advice when I needed it. She was an important supportive adult in my life.
How do you think we will work with children in 100 years?
Kim: I think in 100 years we will have even more exciting things to learn. Maybe we will have robotic teachers who can help us learn things in a fun way. I have seen that there is almost already there! But even if technology is changing, I think the most important thing will still be that we continue to be kind and helpful to each other and that we have adults who care.
Thaw: In 100 years, I think there will be even more focus on individualized teaching and that the children's interests and needs will be taken even more. We will use advanced technology and virtual reality to create more realistic and engaging learning environments. Not like now that everyone has to learn the same things at the same time. Then I think the importance of social interaction and relationships will be perhaps almost even more important - the artificial must never take over.
Agnes: I believe that although technology will develop and change the way we work with children, the need for human presence and care will continue to be important. We will always need adults who can provide security, love and support to the children. Hopefully, we will have a more holistic view of the child's development and focus on promoting their well -being in all aspects of life. We will continue to learn and adapt to the needs of the children and changed social conditions.
What is your best tip on how to comfort a child who is sad?
Kim: When I'm sorry, I like when someone comfort me by being close and listening to me. It helps when someone shows that they care and try to understand how I feel. Getting a hug or being comforted with kind voice usually helps.
Thaw: When a child is sad, it is important to show empathy and confirm their feelings. Sitting next to them, calmly and patiently listening to what they have to say and giving them a safe arms can be comforting. It is a balancing act between showing that the sad is okay and that if/when required, guide the child in it and on ..
Agnes: When a child is sad, it is important to show understanding and let them express their feelings. Sitting down with them, holding them and calmly talking to them can give comfort. Sometimes it can also help to offer a favorite game or a soft stuffed animal to hold. Being present and showing that you are there for them is the most important thing in the consolation process.
What are the most common mistakes that adults make when working with children, do you think?
Kim: Sometimes adults can become too angry or strict when children make mistakes. It can make me scared or sad. Sometimes they also forget to listen to what I have to say and do not take my opinions seriously. I also think it is boring when adults don't give me enough time and attention when I need it.
Thaw: A common mistake is that adults do not take children's feelings and opinions seriously. Sometimes they can be too dominant and control too much above what the children should do instead of giving them the opportunity to explore and learn in their own way. Another common miss is not to be sufficiently responsive to children's needs and signals. It can be important to be flexible and adapt to each child's unique way of being and learning.
Agnes: A common mistake is that adults can be too busy with their own thoughts and chores to give children enough attention. Sometimes they can also be too quick to judge or understand the child's actions. Having too high expectations of children and not being patient enough can also be a mistake. It is important to understand that children develop at their own pace and need support and understanding along the way.
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