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Building Meaningful Relationships with Families

by Dana Elliott
September/October 2006
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/building-meaningful-relationships-with-families/5017120/

This particular topic area is a passion of mine, not because I think I am particularly good at it, but because I had to learn it the hard way. The focus of college early childhood programs is on working with children and learning about child development. Unfortunately, they all but ignore families. While there is an occasional nod toward family dynamics, very little time in both theory and practice is devoted to learning the techniques of developing relationships with families and communicating with them on a daily basis.

I spent a great deal of time in my first few years as an early childhood educator cultivating my relationships with families and developing these skills in order to do so professionally, meaningfully, and successfully. I am grateful to the first families I met as a new graduate and their understanding of my novice ways. They helped me to become the educator I am today. Although I no longer work directly with the children, my early mistakes and the valuable lessons I learned developed my passion in working with families and I continue to present workshops on effective communication with particular emphasis on families.

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