Saturday, January 28, 2017

Observing Communication

I have been in bed most of this week, I just was able to go back to work on this past Friday, so I was not able to observe in a formal manner for this assignment, but I did observe communication between a parent and a child, and the parent happens to be one of my students at the college.

My college student is new to campus so I met with her so that I could show her to the bookstore, her classroom, the bursars office and to the financial aid office. She had to bring her son with her and I was quite alright with it. He was a spitting image of his mother.  Right away you could see the amazement in his eyes and he started asking his mother questions like, "why are we here" "where are we" "why do you have to buy books mommy" "this place is bigger than my school" "why do they have schools for big people."  His mother answered all his questions with the love and sensitivity of a great parent. Then he looks at me and says, "who are you?" I smiled because the whole time his curiosity got the better of him and he didn't even realize I was there helping his mother until he was finished with all questions.  His mother told him that I was her Scholar Coordinator and that I was the one who helps her with all her questions. Once introductions were made he then started talking to me, was very comfortable and even shook my hand.

He asked me questions like, "Do you like ice cream? I like ice cream, momma said if I can be patient we can go for ice cream after we leave here." He was becoming very comfortable. One point during the visit, his mother had to fill out a document at financial aid so he sat with me and he and I played a game while we waited. 

I respected his space when they first arrived because one, he was in a strange place and needed to know that his mother was protecting him and I was a stranger to him and didn't want to make him uncomfortable. Stephenson (2009) stated that sometimes you have to step back and watch as children communicate and use strategy to approach them when in conversation. I let him lead conversation so that he would feel comfortable.  It was a great experience all around. Not a typical way to observe communication but he was communicating with his mother and myself and his curiosity kept him occupied and full of questions.

I believe the ultimate beauty of the experience is that I am African American and my student and her son where White and once he saw that his mother trusted me and talked to me and laughed with me he was also comfortable and the beauty of being different but treated with no difference because of the color of skin is a wonderful thing to witness, especially with children.  I hope his time with me and talking to me and playing games with me is a memorable one for him.

Reference

Stephenson, A. (2009). Conversations with a 2-year-old. YC: Young Children, 64(2), 90-95. 

2 comments:

  1. Comesha--
    What a great observation!! How great of this child's mother to keep patience and take the opportunity to allow for questions as well as taking the time to answer them--there was a lot of learning going on for this young child as well as self-worth being built. It could have been very easy for this mother to brush off her son's curiosity in a time when she could have felt as though he needed to be seen as opposed to be heard within the meeting. And fabulous of you to take the time to gain an understanding of the boy before you jumped in, allowing him to gain trust. Along with this interaction was a great opportunity for his mother to be a positive role model--sounds like this mother was doing a wonderful job with her son.
    Thank you for sharing such a positive interaction all the way around--it is always wonderful to hear about positivity in our world!!

    Heidi Law

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  2. Comesha,
    Great post! How sweet of you to show her around campus. It was also sweet of you to answer all questions that her son had for you. Children can be very curious and it is always nice for an adult to take the time to listen to them. I sometimes wonder can my toddler daughter be too curious when we are put around others. It was nice to read your post about the patience and time to took put of your day to help this young lady as well as her son.

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