When we’re in our college campus bubble, it’s easy to forget that the world is populated with anyone other than 20-somethings and suave sexagenarian profs. But, once in awhile we college girls are dealt with the task of interacting with the younger population. If you’ve got younger siblings, you probably have dealing with kids down to a science. However, if you’re the youngest like me, your skills with rugrats are a little more rusty.

Whether it’s a new job at a daycare centre, or meeting your boyfriends little cousins at Thanksgiving, here are a few tips for getting along with kids:

Consider the Age

As much as you might think that eight-year-old would enjoy your dirty joke, you might want to reconsider. The same goes for that twelve-year-old who doesn’t need you to explain who Lady Gaga is. Consider the age of your audience and act appropriately. If you’re not sure exactly how old someone is, ask them. Kids are generally used to this question and are either psyched or at least prepared to answer it, and it can save your butt from making a serious faux-pas.

Be Yourself

No matter how young they are, kids can sense insincerity and, like any other human being, they can’t stand it. Rather than putting on a performance of how you think the child would like you to act, or pretending to be interested in things you think they might also like, just be yourself. By acting as you would when you meet someone your own age, you’re treating the child with maturity and respect, which they’ll pick up on even if they’re not sure what it is, and in return will respect you more.

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Do Your Homework

Just because you’re being yourself, doesn’t mean you can’t brush up a bit on what all the kids are talking about these days. Do a quick search on the internet for current trends among younger people. There’s tonnes of information out there since modern parents are constantly straining to keep on top of their kids interests, lingo, and lifestyle. Don’t expect to talk to anyone over the age of six and not know who Justin Bieber is.

Have Fun

Ever notice how much fun kids seem to have, no matter what they’re doing? It’s time to take a page from their book. Don’t stress about interacting with them. Smile, laugh, have fun with them, and don’t take anything too seriously. I garuntee the kids won’t; to them, it’s all about having fun. Maybe we should all be like this more often.

What Do You Think?

Do you have younger siblings? Do you ever struggle connecting with them? What are your tips for interacting with younger generations? Leave a comment and let me know!


1 Comment

  1. avatar Sarah says:

    This sounds very similar to the tips I got before starting pediatric nursing clinical shifts. All very true… but also remember kids between 9 months and 3 years can be very stranger shy! Don’t take it personally. Just be friendly and let them get used to you.

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