A lot of people really like the idea of a career that involves working with kids, but it takes a special kind of person to be really good at it. To be a successful childminder, educator or pediatric nurse, for example, you really do need to have the right personality and the perfect skill set, which means more than just the relevant educational qualifications!
So, if you’re serious about working with kids, here are the most essential skills you will need to work on:
1. Being Patient
Patience is probably the most important skill any adult working with kids needs to have.
You have to remember that children aren’t adults and they think, feel and do things in different ways; ways that might frustrate and confuse us. It’s important then that happens, and you find yourself repeating the same instructions for the millionth time, that you do not snap.
That’s the worst thing a teacher, social worker, etc., can do. So, if you know you’re easily frustrated, start working on improving your patience now. You can find out how to improve patience here and you probably should.
Like I said, patience is the most important skill you’ll need to have when you’re working with youngsters.
2. A Calm Demeanour
When you’re spending a lot of time surrounded by children, accidents are going to happen, and there will be more emergency situations to contend with that you might think possible, but it’s important, when that happens, that you’re able to remain calm.
Children naturally look to the adults around them in an emergency situation, and if you’re freaking it, running around like a headless chicken, that’s what they’ll do too!
Developing a sense of serenity, especially in difficult situations isn’t easy, but if you put yourself through first aid training and the like, it will be a lot easier.
3. Communication Skills
If you want to be a teacher in particular, and here’s how you can get your FLDOE Certification if you’re interested, being able to communicate with children of different ages is a must. Teachers who talk down to children do them a real disservice.
The difference between dumbing your words down and making it accessible to younger children is a small one, but it is important you learn how to do it if you want to inspire children to learn more, rather than putting them off completely. Here’s how you can talk to younger kids without dumbing down if this is something you’re interested in learning.
It really will make you a better educator if you take the time to work on your communication skills.
4. Enthusiasm for Your Work
If you want to work with kids, then you must truly enjoy spending time with them. You might like hanging out with your niece or nephew for a couple of hours at the weekend, but could you really see yourself spending 8 hours a day five days a week with them?
If not, it’s unlikely that you’ll make the kind of impact you would like.
Kids know when you’re bored and annoyed, and they will react to it!
These are just the most essential skills you need to work successfully with kids – there are many more, and perhaps you should look into them before making a career move.