From: Eugene Matusov
Submit: Post Field Note
Date: 17 Aug 1996
Remote Name: pax-ca7-23.ix.netcom.com
Maria, 10, female; Kate, 11, female; Lora, 10, female; Ann, 10, female
Maria and Kate worked together on building a marble track on the floor. Lora and Ann also worked on marble track just next to the first peer of girls. Maria and Kate completed their track (which was a rather sophisticated construction with several fragil bridges) first, they enthusiastically invited Lora and Ann to try the track. Loa and Ann joined Maria and Kate in probing the track. An some point, Lora moved her foot and destroyed the most sophistacted part of Maria and Kate's construction. Lora looked at Kate with emberassment. Kate stood up, slowely came up to Lora and Ann's construction, slowely moved he foot toward the most volnurable part of the girls' construction, looked at the girls (as if saying "watch me!") and destroyed Lora and Ann's construction. Kate and Ann silently returned to re-build their track as well as Maria and Kate. Both peers worked separately for the rest of the day without communicating with each other.
It was a case of children's violance and lack of problem solving skills. I wonder if children develop these skills in several months. It is probably interesting to observe these girls more. I wonder how we can help kids to learn interpersonal skills.
Why did Kate retaliate although it was pretty obvious that Lora destroyed Kate and Maria's track not on the purpose? Maybe, Kate could not control her emotions? Or maybe there is a history of the girls' relations? Why didn't Lora and Ann complain? Why wasn't there much communication? Maybe the girls do not have communication skills or maybe they communicate non-verbally? Rogoff, Mistry, Jayanthi, Goncu, & Mosier (1993) descibed cultures that put much more stress on non-verbal communcation. Is it necessary to express feeling verbally for successful interpersonal relations? Can be interpersonal problems resolved non-verbally? In my experience, some verbal negotiation is always present.