We should never try to be friends with our children or students; moreover, it is counterproductive. The parent or educator must be unconditional and must draw clear lines.
Being a parent or educator does not mean that we automatically become experts in dealing with children. For this reason, at Coruña British International School we offer you some tips that you can apply in your daily life when dealing with children.
1. Don't treat them like a baby
If we don't know all the stages of child maturity, we can make the mistake of treating or talking to a child as if they were younger than they really are. If the child in question is over 3 years old, we must be aware that he or she is no longer a baby. Therefore, avoid constant diminutives and caresses. Simply address them as a young person; you will make them feel valued.
Of course, treating them like a child and not a baby is not the opposite of not being affectionate or even instilling discipline. In fact, reasoning with them about rules is often much more effective than imposing them.
2. Don't talk about it with other adults.
3. Ask questions
4. Tell them about personal experiences
Adults can seem strange and inaccessible to children. Therefore, a good idea to gain their trust is to talk to them about ourselves, for example, by telling them about an experience that shows us to be human and vulnerable. This strategy has several positive consequences: as well as helping to strengthen the bond with the child, he or she will feel more confident to tell you about his or her experiences as well.
5. Suggest a fun activity
Finally, an infallible way to get closer to children is through play. Sharing time doing their favourite activities or suggesting that they collaborate in an adult task will make them feel that you trust them and that, in turn, they feel that they can trust you.
However, child psychologist Juan Manuel Marcos reminds us: "We should never try to be friends with our children or students; moreover, it is counterproductive. In the friendship environment, there are unstable barriers that can be crossed. However, the parent or educator must be unconditional and must draw clear lines. Limits and discipline make the child feel secure."