Friday, 21 February 2014

Building communication skills gone bad

With the goal of helping her siblings build communication skills or at the very least being able to answer a basic question Alysha felt that she had a solution.  Each night at dinner she would come up with one question that each person at the table would have an opportunity to answer.

The first night the question was "What did you do today?"  From some, elaborate answers were given detailing every minute of the day including how many trips to the toilet, what they ate, etc.  From others we received short answers or one word answers and others struggled to answer.

As the nights went on the questions continued "what was the best part of your day?"  "What did you learn today?" The children continued to struggle with their answers but they really look forward to their daily question.

All was going well until the questions switched from being about themselves to each other.  "Tell one thing you like about the person sitting next to you?"  I like your hair, I like your toys, I don't like him today, I would like you if you didn't steal, I can't thing of anything nice to say about ____.  Then an adult child had a major melt down because she couldn't think of anything nice to say about her brother.   Beating herself up questioning whether or not he belongs in the family - asking what kind of sister is she when she cant't say one nice thing about her sibling.  Other siblings mad at the sister who couldn't say anything nice feeling she was having a meltdown to switch the focus to her.

We are continuing with the nightly questions but they will be about each individual as we are not prepared to damage self esteems in order to learn how to answer a question.

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