What does a quality adult/child relationship look like?

18 May 2021

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Whether at home or at our centre at Treetops, one of the fundamental questions a child asks is ‘Do you know me?’ 

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Relationships are the foundation of life, for without them growth is not possible.

Nathan Wallis the brain development researcher extraordinaire states; “We are by design, genetically and biologically made to be moulded by our environment; to learn and grow through quality relationships, we have one opportunity for this and it is the first 1000 days to interact with our environment.”

Secure inter-personal attachments are the beginning of this most beautiful journey. It is an essential ingredient of being human to feel secure, trusting and loved. Without this sense of security, the child cannot begin to develop fully intellectually and emotionally. 

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A secure child knows that when they are upset that the adult will respond to their needs and will comfort them. It is through their relationships that the child will develop the understanding of their worth; that they are the centre of your world. They will understand and learn to recognise and manage their emotions and actions through your responses.

Dispositions of caring, empathy and understanding of others will unfold and create meaningful relationships with others.

How do we know we are creating such a meaningful relationship with our child that will send them off on their own individual life journey equipped to learn?

A Māori whakataukī shares the most important aspect of a relationship:

He tangata he tangata he tangata; it is people it is people it is people.

What could a quality relationship look like and how can we see that we are supporting our child to meet their potential in learning and development?

Here is a little word analogy that I hope may help you to understand what our teacher relationships at Treetops are for our tamariki;

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Respect; Do my actions reflect how I think of you?

Energy: How much energy can I put into the relationship?

Listen: Do I truly hear what you say; verbal, gestures, expressions?

Attitude: Am I thinking in a positive way about our relationship?

Time: Do I make time to spend with you pure and unadulterated?

Individual: Do I truly understand what makes you you?

Ownership: Do I take responsibility for contributing to our relationship?

Nurture; I carefully tend and nurture our relationship 

Soul: Is the essence of who we are our very being meeting together?

Heart: is love, love is patient, love is kind, love is not loud, love is truth

Interpersonal skills: Am I aware, do I care, am I comforting?

Peacefulness: Be still…

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Aroha mai

Aroha atu

Love received 

Love Returned