My rapport with patients had always been based on language -- information, verbal persuasion, and examples. On peds, I was forced to add to the repertoire, because language isn't an option with 18 month olds. But shiny stethoscopes are! And the Bert puppet. And if you want a kid to exhale, you can't beat giving them a pinwheel.
The children, for their part, were more reasonable than I expected. And they have flashes of insight that are simply stunning.
I recall a talk from a pedi neurologist, who was treating a 9 year old boy with cerebral palsy and a growing depression. The kid once remarked:
If I was for sale, I'd be free.
Damned if everyone in the audience didn't gasp.