They Say Never Work with Children or Animals!

A Woman Petting Her Dogs while Working As the saying goes: Never work with children or animals, and there is a very good reason for this. By nature, both children and animals are unpredictable

If you operate in an industry that typically doesn’t involve working with children or animals, when the time arises that you need to, you may be feeling understandably nervous.

As the saying goes, “Never work with children or animals”, and there is a very good reason for this. By nature, both children and animals are unpredictable, which is what makes them much more difficult to both understand and deal with.

How to manage working with children or animals

If you have been assigned a project or a task where you have to work with children, animals, or both, the important thing to remember is that you need to be prepared. More specifically, you need to be more prepared than you have ever been before in your professional life.

Let’s look at an example. Say you are organizing a shoot for work, perhaps for a corporate video. Now, let’s say you have just found out that you have to work with either children or animals. While your first reaction may be to try and bow out or find someone else to take on the project for you, this is not what you should do. Check out these important things you need to know when working with kids on a video shoot for tailored tips on how to manage children in a corporate environment.

Although the first time you work with children or animals can be stressful, frustrating, and extremely tiring, once you get the hang of it, you will start to find it more enjoyable and even rewarding.

Top tips for working with children

If you are about to work with children for the first time, either on a long-term project or just for a short time, it helps to have a combination of verbal and non-verbal skills that enable you to better understand their needs.

Communication

Communicating with children, especially young ones, is very different from communicating with adults, which means you need to adjust the way you interact accordingly. It is important to develop both verbal and nonverbal skills, as many children are at different stages of their development.

Behavioral management

If you have spent any time with children before, you will know only too well how they like to test boundaries. It is important to hold them accountable for their actions and provide them with a structured environment with rules they need to adhere to.

Patience

Of course, you need patience to be able to work with children, so try to maintain a calm demeanor at all times when working directly with them. If you find yourself losing your temper or feeling stressed out, remove yourself from the situation for five minutes or so until you have composed yourself, and you feel ready to continue with the task at hand.

Creativity

Children are highly imaginative by nature, so it is vital that you also have a sense of creativity when working with them. Most children will follow directions more willingly if there is some element of fun involved, so try to make everything as fun and creative as possible, and you will be much more likely to get the results you want.

Enthusiasm

One of the best things about working with children is that they bring so much enthusiasm to the table, so make sure you try to match this with your behavior. This is especially important if you are trying to get a child to do a fairly boring task.

Dedication

Lastly, you need dedication to be able to work with children, even if it is only for one day—dedication to the task at hand and also dedication to work well with children. If you are struggling with the latter, try to find ways to keep your energy levels up and avoid being discouraged by any challenges or hiccups along the way, as these are highly likely to occur.

Top tips for working with animals

In some ways, working with animals is easier than working with children, but in others, it is much harder. While children can be very independent and strong-willed, so can animals, and you may find yourself falling way behind schedule if they don’t want to play ball.

Some of the top tips for working with animals include:

  • Take regular breaks and time-outs throughout the day.
  • Remember that a happy animal is more likely to listen and be willing to do as you ask.
  • Enlist the help of an animal trainer or specialist to help you on the day.

Takeaway

While there is no denying that working with children and animals can be stressful, there is also a lot of joy to be found. Try to remain as patient as possible and remember that it’s okay if things don’t completely go to plan. Good luck, and remember to have fun!

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