This message is written and delivered by Sonya Brown.
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Have you tried to answer a little kid’s question? It’ll probably be one of the most difficult things that you can do. My son would ask me questions when he was little and it was crazy where some of our discussions went. It would seem like an easy question and I would give a response. My response would be replied with a “but, why?” or a “but, how?” My response did not make sense to him.
When my son was two or three, he fell and got a cut on his head. It was bleeding a little and I applied pressure to help stop the bleeding. When the bleeding stopped, my son asked how the bleeding stopped. I thought to myself, “I know the answer! I took a few biology and hematology classes.” I explained to him that we have platelets in our body that go to the area that is bleeding along with a protein called fibrin to form a protective barrier. He asked, “but how does it know what to do?.” My response was, “the platelets release something to help begin the clotting factor.” No matter my response it was responded with, “how?” I gave up and finally grabbed a band aid and said it’s like this band aid. I see where the injury is, I cleaned it, and I am going to cover your owie with a bandaid. That’s kind of what your body does from the inside. He said okay, chose his bandaid, and ran off to play.
I learned quickly that I had to change my communication style with my son. This helped me understand the communication process and how even in our conversations the messages we send are encoded and the recipient needs to decode what we say to make meaning of it.
If I tried to explain something my son didn’t understand, I would need to repeat myself a few times to help him understand. It was vice versa as well – he would explain things to me until I understood what he meant.
Words and messages need to be decoded. That’s the process of communication. Maybe we don’t know the language and we have to decipher what is being said. It can be frustrating if communication is not understood – or if something is misinterpreted, it causes a break in the conversation.