Age/development level Technique
4-7 years Use language children will understand.
When speaking to children be clear and check their understanding by asking them to repeat what you said, back to you
Be patient, you may need to explain things more than once.
Do not assume they will not understand.
Listen carefully; show children you are concentrating and interested.
Use eye contact.
Have a friendly approach; smile, listen and generally be easy to talk to.
Ensure you get down to their level so that you are not towering over them as this can be very intimidating for Children.
8-12 years Encourage children and young people to express their opinions, ask them what they think and acknowledge their replies.
Give explanations to back up what you are saying.
Offer opportunities for them to express
themselves, e.g. role-play, modelling, painting, drawing, writing.
Encourage self-help and independence.
Give them responsibilities.
Introduce and encourage new vocabulary.
Negotiate; listen to their side of disagreements, then come to an amicable agreement.
Make time for individual attention.
Show patience and understanding.
13-16 years Negotiate and look for compromises; listen to their reasons.
Use humour appropriately; do not use sarcasm.
Be sympathetic and show empathy.
Give young people space; use the correct supervision level, do not assume they always want an adult listening in.
Treat them like adults; do not patronise or talk down to young people.
Empower them to express their opinions freely.
Use communication to increase their vocabulary. Discuss issues as you would with another adult.
Use a common interest, e.g. DVD’s, music, games, to engage them in conversation.
Give them responsibility; let them take on regular interesting jobs, e.g. setting out an activity and not just clearing away
Challenge stereotypical or racial discrimination, inappropriate terminology and swearing