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Monday, October 28, 2013

Working Out Misunderstandings

Here they are all Sweetness!   It wasn't so a few hours ago..... :)

Today was a reminder for Miss Sarah, that Alli still does not have her English down well enough to communicate what she wants to say.

It was a happy time of planning for Christmas.  Two of the girls  asked if they could exchange gifts with each other by drawing names.  They came up with a gift amount and I said I thought it would be a great idea.  All excited, Alli went to announce it to Sarah but it didn't quite come out right!

Instead of we get to draw names, and the cost of the gift should be between $ and $, and we get to make a list to help the person buying something pick an item the other person might want, she said, "You are going to buy a gift and you have to get them what they tell you."

Sarah was puzzled and her reply was, "What are you talking about?" 
It went down hill from there.  Sarah interpreted Alli's attempt to explain, that she had to purchase Alli exactly what she tells her to.   And her joy was gone.
Alli's response was, but why would you want to get somebody something they didn't need?
Alli's joy was gone, and my joy was gone.....

"What just happened?"
So Sarah took time to explain, and when she repeated back to Alli what she had said, her reply was, "But that isn't what I meant!" 
However she was unable to put into words what she wanted to communicate.

We navigated through successfully.  I reminded Sarah that Miss Alli has not been speaking English that long and we need to err on the side of grace and mercy.  "Isn't that what we did for you?"
"Yes Maam. "

I helped Alli re explain what she was trying to convey and then all joy broke loose once again!

I told the girls, that the very problem they experienced today with communication, has serious effects in many households across the country, between parents and children, and relationships get soured due to miscommunication!
"Let's work hard on giving the benefit of the doubt and  being merciful. If we think something doesn't sound right, working through till the end to make sure we are communicating effectively has great benefit in the end!

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