PW3. 12 Assignment 4 5. 1 Explain why it is important to have positive relationships with adults in the play environment It could be argued that playworkers are often naturally skilled and adept at making good relationships with the children in the informal setting of a play environment. Whilst adult relationships may take more time and effort, and thus more difficult to achieve it is essential that they maintain positive relationships with other adults within the play environment.
As professional’s playworkers are likely to come in to contact with a range of adults be it parents, carers, elder siblings, other playworkers, or the general network of care and as a result need to be proficient in forming positive relations with such adults. There are a number of reasons why this is important. First and foremost, children always benefit when adults around them are able to collaborate, co-operate and work in tandem. In relation to parents and carers, it is important that playworkers and parents are amiable, and can work together to form a strong support foundation for the child.
Not only will the play setting benefit from amicable relations but children will feel that they are supported as a result of the good rapport between parents and playworkers. In addition to this, parents are naturally interested in the happiness and well-being of their child. Through strong and positive relations between parents and playworkers, parents will feel that they are informed about their child’s experiences at the club and involved in this aspect of their life.
Another aspect of this mutual relationship is that the parent can inform the play setting if things are difficult at home, that the child worries about certain aspects of the play environment or any difficulties that they are having. Not only will this provide an explanation for potential changes in behaviour, but it allows the playworkers to accommodate the child to make them feel more comfortable or at ease, and generally support them within the play setting.
It is through this positive relationship that parents are able to support playworkers and their decisions, and in turn provide a strong team foundation to support the child and their general welfare. In terms of positive relationships with those directly associated to the play environment it is essential that a positive, friendly and supportive relationship occurs between co-workers. One must remember that children are sensitive to the way in which one works with colleagues, and indirectly the relations they see modelled by their elders are those which they in turn will portray.
In effect, the attitude and relations of the playworkers act as a blue print upon which they form their own relationships. Essentially, through positive relationships with other adults within the setting, it not only creates a pleasant and fruitful atmosphere but it provides a strong foundation of support – both between playworkers themselves and with parents and carers. Through good communication and positive relations children are able to feel settled and supported in all aspects of their development. . 2 Explain the importance of clear communications with adults in the play environment In order to develop and maintain positive relationships with adults in the play environment, an element of respect is vital. The key to this is a clear communications style. It is through such a style that both playworkers themselves, and parents feel respected, valued and a part of the play setting. Good communication is a central aspect to playwork, as well as everyday life.
It is a skill which not only underpins almost every other social skill but it is particularly important when working with children and young people, and in turn the adults associated with the play environment. Through communicating effectively as playworkers, it encourages positive relationships with the adults and thus results in a proactive and efficient team between both playworker and parent. The importance of this cannot be understated, by having a solid team foundation between playworkers and parents, children will not only feel supported and comfortable, but are aided in their development.
The key to attain this solid foundation is through communicating effectively and clearly with the adults associated with the play setting. For example, it is important that parents and carers are aware of any issues that may have arisen during the session, any difficulties their child is encountering, or if their child has behaved or responded particularly well to a certain situation. Essentially, this involves being ‘updated’ on their child’s general behaviour and well-being. The importance of clear communication can be evidenced here.
Being vague in ones communications can lead to problems such as misunderstanding, the child being reprimanded for something they didn’t do by parents, or by parents not grasping the full extent of the problem. Not only would this affect the support the child would receive, but many could argue that such misinterpretations or misunderstandings could result in conflict between play setting and parent. When considering this from another perspective, effective communication with other team members and playworkers is equally essential.
Playworkers need to feel that when asked to do something by another member of the team, or someone of higher position that they are doing as required and desired. In addition to this, they need to maintain and portray a team approach in everything conducted. By communicating roles, responsibilities and issues effectively the team is able to work as a unit and thus provide the best care for the children in the play setting. By supporting the team, communicating effectively and efficiently it ensures that problems are dealt with promptly so as not to impact on the running of the team and the setting.
From this it can be noted that clear and effective communication not only benefits the playwork team as a whole, but in addition it means that an effective team approach between playworkers and parents can be attained. In doing so, this provides children with the best support possible. 5. 3 Summarise different strategies the playworker can use to communicate with adults who have communication difficulties The way in which one communicates with people should not be static. It is important that the style used is adjusted to meet the needs of both the situation and the person with whom one needs to communicate.
In many cases communicating with a range of adults can be challenging, however this becomes more difficult when trying to communicate with those who have communication difficulties. Here, a more precise and patient method is required. There are a number of strategies that can be employed when dealing with those who have communication difficulties. Firstly it is essential that one remains patient, speaks clearly and allows the other person a chance not only to understand what is being said, but then to construct a response.
The phrase “connect before you direct” also comes in to play here; by making eye contact and engaging the other person in conversation not only allows you to form a relationship, but it may be essential for those with communication difficulties. For instance, and adult who has hearing difficulties will need to see mouth movements to understand and will rely heaving on visual signs such as facial expressions. In addition to this, it is important, especially with adults, that one respects their difficulties, not pressuring them or treating them like a child.
Achieving this takes practice but in doing so it ensures the other person feels respected, valued and understood. In some cases a more active style of communication may be necessary, such as physically demonstrating what is required by drawing or miming. Another strategy is to employ physical cues such as pictures, objects or photos which the adult can point to or respond with. In doing this, verbal speech is simply an aid, and for those who have difficulties in such an area it provides an external method of communication, and perhaps a better means of understanding.
Alternatively, a translator may be required to assist the communication of confusing, difficult or complex issues and conversations. Written word is another strategy which can be employed when dealing with adults who have communication difficulties. For some, written word is easier to process and understand than verbal conversations, and so this provides another means of communicating with those who have communication difficulties. One downside of this method is that those who are not native to the language may struggle to comprehend written style. Utilising the telephone is another option and strategy.
Those who suffer communication difficulties may be more aware of themselves in busy, noisy and unknown environments which may impede their ability to understand as well as to respond. By speaking on the phone it allows them to take in the information and construct their sentences in peace, in their own time and in the security that no one external is judging them. From this, it is evident that when communicating with adults who have communication difficulties there are a number of strategies that could be employed. Essentially it involves being understanding, precise and clear.
Talking slowly but not in an exaggerated manner and simplifying our extended language abilities allowing them to not only understand what is being asked but at the same time feel respected and valued as an individual and not undermined due to their difficulties. 5. 4 Evaluate types of situations that might lead to conflict between playworkers and other adults Sometimes things go wrong. In any work place there are bound to be situations that arise which will result in conflict of some sort. People react differently to such situations depending on circumstances, but it is mportant to remember that differences of opinion are not necessarily a bad thing. There are numerous situations that may result in conflict between playworkers and other adults, as with anyone in society. It could be argued that one of the largest contributors to conflict is merely the result of miscommunication. Someone may take a comment the wrong way, not understand the context or may not have had the message properly passed on. As a result of this sour feelings such as resent, confusion or misunderstanding can lead to conflict between adults.
In the case of the playwork setting, this could be between two playworkers with one person commenting on what is normally done in a helpful manner, with the other taking it as condescending, patronising or dictatorial. Another example of such a situation would be a playworker telling a parent about the way their child has behaved during the session. If this was not explained properly, or details were left out (such as it being ‘started’ by another child) this could result in conflict between parent, child and playworker.
Another effect of miscommunication is conflict due to lack of role explanation. If roles and responsibilities are not clearly and effectively outlined (miscommunicated), this could lead to false expectations from supervisors and thus result in conflict. For example if a supervisor expects a certain playworker to be doing the headcount and this is not achieved, conflict could occur as a result. Typical playwork situations which may cause conflict are about the decisions made or the actions taken by playworkers.
If parents do not agree with or support such decisions it can often lead to a conflict over what is expected by the parent, versus what is required and expected from the playworker. Situations such as where a child has been hurt (falling from a swing, or injury from another child), damage to the child’s equipment or clothes, or relations with other children are often the causes of conflict between playworkers and parents or carers. Here the playworker will follow policies and procedures, but the parent may not agree with the action or decision subsequently forming the foundations for conflict.
As is often the case, conflict can occur because a person is coping with unrelated pressures. Life stressors, home issues etc may cause either parent or playworker to snap without reason. This can initiate feelings of resent, confusion, or misunderstanding, thus producing a conflict scenario. As evidenced, it can be noted that there are a number of types of situations which may result in conflict between adults in the play setting. Miscommunication, stressors, expectations and even own confidence in handling a situation can result in conflict between the adults within the setting. . 5 Explain different strategies the playworker can use to deal with conflict situations involving other adults. There are a number of strategies that can be employed when dealing with conflict situations. In many situations simply listening to the other person, attaining all the facts and showing an understanding is enough to dilute the problem. However if this is not the case, then there are other strategies which can be utilised. In many respects dealing with conflict situations with adults requires a similar approach to that of children.
If emotions are tense the best way to manage conflict is to listen to the other person, acknowledge their feelings and show empathy and understanding of the issue. In acknowledging another person’s feelings or point of view it can take the heat out of the conflict and thus allow a solution to be found, even if this involves stating “I can see what you mean, but I can’t agree with you there”. By accepting and acknowledging another person’s feelings, one can then ask them how they wish the issue to be resolved.
In asking for their opinion it shows respect and highlights that their opinion is valued. Much like dealing with children in conflict, those adults in conflict can then work together in order to come to a viable solution for them both. In addition to this when dealing with parents or other playworkers it is important to thank them for bringing the matter to one’s attention and check that the problem is understood fully. Furthermore if you believe there to be a misunderstanding, say so as this may be enough to resolve the conflict.
It is important to talk in a private area, listen carefully, make eye contact, ensure that one remains polite and calm and that any apologies are made if necessary. Another important aspect to consider is to avoid personalising the issue (through comments made, or actions taken, or gossiping) as this can lead to it becoming more heated, intense and appear like a personal vendetta. It is best to talk to the person directly before any more misunderstanding or misinterpretation can occur. In order to deal with miscommunications within the work place, one strategy that could be used it to write things down, a record of events.
This is particularly relevant for when children are hurt in the play setting. By recording what happened, when and how it ensures that relevant people are provided with correct information that is the same across the board. Dealing with conflict due to confidence is hard. Essentially it is important that the supervisors acknowledge their team’s skills, expertise and value within the playwork team. Conflict due to external pressure is also difficult. By observing other people as they talk to you can sometimes provide an indication of whether other factors are at work.
If this is the case, simply being sympathetic and a good listener can often take the heat out of a conflict potentially brewing. Essentially, when dealing with conflict in adults it is similar to the approach taken when dealing with children. It is important that one listens, shows understanding, respects the other persons differentiating view points, and that they work together to find a solution suiting to them both. In doing this, not only will it aid the conflict itself, but it almost acts as pre conflict management.