Interacting With Children

Interacting With Children  -  Effective Caring

Parents who place their children in childcare do so with the expectation that the child’s physiological and psychological needs will be met. A major part of meeting these needs depends how well the carer is interacting with the children and will influence learning and development. 

Interacting With Children

As children develop in life the means by which they communicate changes. Remember that very young children are only just beginning to form a sense of who they and where they fit into the world about them.  It is important that your interaction with them reflects their age and development and promotes active learning.

Very young children need contact. In the absence of the parent you become their sole means of comfort and support. Be the effective carer who actively sees when a child is insecure and needs a hand to hold, maybe a lap to curl up on just like mum’s, or even the closeness of your physical presence can be calming and reassuring.  

When interacting with children be an active participant in children’s games. 

Join in when there is an opening and do so on their physical level. Give the child validation in their active play by imitating what the child is playing – be a partner in their game and follow their lead and instructions.  While staying in the parameter of the child’s cues and theme you can challenge the child to develop their creativity and learning as they explore new ideas and experiences.

Be an active participant in the conversation – let them use their imagination. Allow them to take the lead and only make comments in a natural interested way and never pressure the child by asking a multitude of questions. Your conversation with them should not be an inquisition.  You are providing them with a sense of their own importance and that what they have to say is of value. Your comments should be objective and specific without false praise (they will pick up on this) or criticism. Always encourage the child to explore their descriptive narrative and turn the conversation into a subtle learning experience.

Don’t always be the problem solver for the child but allow them to try to solve their problems for themselves. Give assistance if the child is struggling with this concept but the first step should be encouraging them to see if they can find their own solution. They will learn by trial and error.

Conflict resolution will always be a part in any young learner’s environment. There will be disagreements. Having a plan in place involving hearing both parties sides, not accusing or allocating blame and including children in the discussion of how to overcome and settle the difference is essential.  However an effective method is to read books about resolving conflict will give the child an understanding of what is needed to settle their own battles. 'You Can't Come to my Birthday Party' by Betsy Evans is an ideal resource dealing with this issue.

Kids and Conflict has a great overview of Betsy Evans' book.

Also if you are looking for some fun Transition Verse check out our book.


Transition Verse


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Heather Collins

Heather Collins is an Early Childhood and Special Education Teacher who makes developmentally appropriate resources for teachers and parents to use with their children. She is author and co-author of poetry books and children’s books. She is a passionate collagist and has crafted beautiful finger puppets and story aprons suitable for early childhood education.

Her resources can be purchased on this website or she can be contacted at Create-Ed by emailing You can order an original apron for any favourite storybook.

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