12 Child Life Specialist Skills: Definition and Examples

By ResumeCat Editorial Team
Published September 1, 2022

A Child Life Specialist is a professional who works with children and families in order to help them cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness, and injury. They use a variety of techniques to achieve this, including play, art, and music. There are twelve skills that are essential for Child Life Specialists. These include: communication, assessment, intervention, program development, consultation, research, and evaluation.

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Child Life Specialist Skills

Child development

The ability to understand child development is critical for child life specialists, who work with children of all ages. This knowledge helps child life specialists to understand the needs of each child they work with and to provide age-appropriate support.

Child psychology

Child psychology is the scientific study of children's mental and emotional development. It covers a wide range of topics, including how children develop self-control, empathy, and other important skills. Child psychologists can help children overcome difficulties, such as anxiety or depression. They can also help parents understand their children's behavior.

Communication

The ability to communicate effectively is essential for child life specialists, who need to be able to explain medical procedures and terminology to children and families, as well as build relationships with the people they work with.

Counseling

The ability to counsel children and families is an important skill for child life specialists. This skill helps child life specialists to provide emotional support to children and families who are dealing with difficult situations. It also allows child life specialists to help children and families to develop coping strategies and to make positive changes in their lives.

Creativity

Creativity is the ability to come up with new ideas and solutions. Child life specialists need creativity to be able to develop new ways to help children cope with stress and difficult situations.

Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It is an important skill for child life specialists, who work with children who are experiencing stress and trauma. Empathy allows child life specialists to build trust and rapport with children, and to provide support and comfort.

Flexibility

Flexibility is an important skill for child life specialists because they often have to adapt their plans and activities to meet the needs of the children they are working with. They may also need to be flexible in their schedule in order to accommodate the families they work with.

Imagination

The ability to imagine is important for child life specialists because they often need to come up with creative ways to help children cope with difficult situations. They may need to imagine what it would be like to be in a child's shoes in order to better understand their perspective. Additionally, they may need to use their imagination to come up with fun and engaging activities that will distract children from stressful situations.

Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are the skills that you use to interact with other people. As a child life specialist, you will need strong interpersonal skills to be able to effectively communicate with children and families. You will need to be able to build rapport, understand emotions, and resolve conflict.

Organizational skills

Organizational skills are important for child life specialists because they need to be able to keep track of many different things at once. They need to be able to plan and execute activities, keep track of supplies, and communicate with families and other members of the healthcare team.

Patience

Patience is the ability to remain calm and not get angry, even when things are not going the way you want them to. It is an important skill for child life specialists because they often work with children who are experiencing difficult situations, such as being in the hospital. They need to be able to remain calm and patient in order to help the children cope with their situation.

Stress management

The ability to manage stress is an important skill for child life specialists. They often work with children who are experiencing stressful situations, such as illness, injury, or hospitalization. Child life specialists need to be able to help children cope with their stressors and provide support during difficult times.

How to improve child life specialist skills

A child life specialist is a professional who works with children and families in a variety of settings to help them cope with the challenges of childhood. Child life specialists use their skills in play, art, music, and other forms of expression to help children understand and cope with their experiences. They also work with families to support them in providing a positive and nurturing environment for their children.

There are many ways to improve child life specialist skills. One way is to participate in continuing education opportunities. Child life specialists can take courses or attend workshops on topics such as child development, family dynamics, grief and loss, trauma-informed care, and more. Additionally, child life specialists can seek out mentorship or supervision from experienced professionals in the field. Another way to improve skills is to get involved in research or writing projects related to child life. This could include conducting literature reviews, writing articles or blog posts, presenting at conferences, or leading trainings for other professionals. Finally, child life specialists can stay up-to-date on current trends and practices by reading professional journals and attending local, state, and national child life conferences.

How to highlight child life specialist skills

As a Child Life Specialist, you can highlight your skills in a number of ways. One way is to list your skills on your resume. You can also highlight your skills during an interview by discussing how you have helped children in the past. If you have worked with children in a professional setting, you can discuss specific examples of how you have helped children cope with difficult situations.

On a resume

As a Child Life Specialist, you will want to highlight your skills in working with children. This can be done by detailing your experience in working with children, as well as highlighting any special training you have in child development or psychology. You can also highlight any experience you have in working with children who have special needs.

In a cover letter

When writing a cover letter as a Child Life Specialist, be sure to highlight your skills in working with children. Include any experience you have in child development, education, and/or counseling. Describe your ability to create a positive and supportive environment for children. Emphasize your commitment to helping children cope with stress and trauma.

During an interview

As a Child Life Specialist, you will want to highlight your skills in working with children and families. You will want to be able to demonstrate your knowledge of child development and your ability to work with children in various settings. You should also be prepared to discuss your experience in providing support to families during times of stress.