From: Sharon Wie
Submit: Post Field Note
Date: 11 Oct 1996
Remote Name: porter-lab13.ucsc.edu
Hilda: age about 10, girl Carrina: age about 5, girl Jenny..??: age about 11, girl
Hilda, Carrina, and I believe her name was Jenny (I could also be totally wrong) were all cousins. It was amazing to observe the strong family ties devoted to each other. Hilda didn't leave her younger monolingual spanish speaking cousin, Carrina alone for a second. Hilda played games with Carrina on Carrina's difficulty levels. She even allowed Carrina to win delibrately. Jenny, the third cousin was a little more demanding. She wanted Carrina to win on her own. Jenny was upset that Hilda and I were assisting Carrina. Hilda, in response to Jenny's anger, explained that Carrina was much younger than her and needed the assistance. Hilda also did an excellent job translating for Carrina.
I have never seen such strong family support among children in a setting where each child had other children of their own age in the room. In my experience working with mostly English-lingual in day care and extra- curricular activities, I have noticed that relatives stay close together because they are unfamiliar to the new surrounding and people. Once they meet new children and get acquainted with the environment, they hve separated. Hilda and Carrina interacted with many other children on Wednesday, but they chose to stay together.
I noticed this particular behavior because a difference in cultural experience may have influenced it. It may be that Latino family ties are stronger. It may be that siblings often take care of each other. It may even have nothing to do with cultural differences but something else.