Monday, 14 May 2012
Making them laugh
One quality of being a child care practitioner is being able to make children laugh
Obviously there are so many traits which lead to a fantastic practitioner, but for me, being able to make children laugh meant so much to how I felt I was performing within my role. I loved the sound of the children laughing and enjoying my company, it gave me a strong purpose to continue with what I was doing!!
There are plenty of reasons why practitioners prefer not to act silly in front of children. Some are self conscious how they look to other adults, whilst others just don't like the idea of dressing up or making themselves look the fool. I got over this very quickly!! The first time I was caught by a parent making their child laugh, I was dressed up with material wrapped around me and I was dancing to some sesame street track on a cd. I must have gone bright red, but the parent said "Don't stop, that looks like fun!"
It is then that I realised it didn't matter what I was looking like or how I was behaving to get a laugh, what mattered was that I was making the children happy!! From then on, it didn't matter who was watching, I was going for it!! I created characters, I dressed up with the children in the home corner, I pretended to be dogs or cats and I even created a few dance routines!! It was so lovely to hear the children tell their parents "Clair was funny today!!" and I feel it really helped me to create great relationships with the children in my care.
It works with adults too! I remember starting a job as a room leader where the other member of staff in the room was very reluctant that I was coming in. I was so worried about how she may perceive me, I must have been just as nervous as her when we first met! But, I carried on being my usual funny self with the children, with a few little one liners for the adults to appreciate, and it really broke the ice. Turned out that she was just as crazy as me and we really hit it off!! We are now really good friends and when I left, she took over my position in the room. I couldn't have wished for a better replacement!
So it just goes to show that being a little bit silly in your role as a practitioner can really help build relationships. It shows children that we don't have to be serious all the time and that laughing is fun! I must admit, if I had had a bad day, a little dance or dress up with a group of 3 and 4 year olds made me feel so much better!!
Give it a go!!