Author Topic: Do you speak?  (Read 10205 times)

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Roe

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Do you speak?
« on: November 06, 2012, 04:19:42 PM »
My son (9 y/o) tends to be a pretty reserved kid.  He doesn't open up to strangers easily.  Once he gets to know a person, he's pretty open though still not what I would consider "chatty."  It's just the way he is. He takes after his father, an introvert.

When random people speak to him, he will answer their questions but he takes his time and processes their information/question before answering.

Today, a tour guide (docent) asked him a question and before my son could answer, the docent says "do you speak?"  That's when I stepped in and said "he's pretty reserved" and I moved my son away from her. 

The docent did not ask the question in a friendly tone but rather in an accusatory and rude tone, which upset me.

I feel that my response to the docent wasn't 'enough.'  What else could I have said to make it clear that she was rude?  (in the event it happens again)  It's really annoying when people assume every child should be an extrovert.

TIA!   

ETA:  This person was not a 'tour guide" and I used that term for simplicity sake.  We did not know this person nor were we formally introduced to this 'guide.'  She was standing next to the exhibit in order to answer questions from visitors.  I'm sorry if I gave the wrong impression but using the term 'tour guide'.

ETA2: changed 'tour guide' to docent to give a clearer picture. 
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 05:34:24 PM by Roe »

amylouky

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Re: Do you speak?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2012, 04:28:43 PM »
"Do not speak to my child that way." Followed by a complaint to the company that runs the tours, and of course reassurance to your son that he didn't do anything wrong.
Tour guide was definitely rude.

WillyNilly

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Re: Do you speak?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 04:30:48 PM »
I have to say while I knew them as vocabulary words, I never other then eHell have heard people refer to "introverts" and "extroverts" and it always chafes me on eHell, as I find their usage somewhat obnoxious.  The usage of the words implies some sort of pleasure or something in reference to speaking or not speaking a lot.

While the tour guide was perhaps rude in tone, many adults don't expect children to be "extroverts" - which is to say most adults don't care if kids want to, or are happy to, or are comfortable speaking.  They expect kids to speak when spoken to and to answer relevant questions whether they are introverted or extroverted.  (Which is my issue with the labels - I don't expects guests at a party to be extroverts, I expect them to be good party attendees, one aspect of which is holding down a few casual conversations over the course of the event, just like I don't expect long haul bus seat partners to be introverts, I just expect them to amuse themselves instead of relying on me for conversation for hours on end - for me its about personal social responsibility, not social comforts.)

Whether your son is introverted or not, he'd do well to learn how to verbally communicate effectively in appropriate situations and labeling him as an "introvert" I think is not doing him any favors, but rather enabling bad habits.  Introverts still need to answer questions throughout life.

Now perhaps the tour guide didn't actually require an answer but if your son was asked a polite question and he just stood there not speaking for a good length of time while he formulated his answer, that's pretty unacceptable behavior (unless your child is very very young).  Even if the answer is "I'm not sure" or "I need to think about it" or "maybe" if its coming across that he doesn't speak at all, that should be concerning.  Not answering people and just standing there staring blankly at them is generally considered rude behavior.

Roe

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Re: Do you speak?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 04:33:55 PM »
My son wasn't just standing there staring at her.  He was looking at the exhibit and it took him awhile to even realize that she was speaking to him.  He wasn't rude at all, if he were I wouldn't have posted and I would've talked to him about it.

But no, he doesn't just stand there and stare at people when they ask him questions.  He answers when it's appropriate. 

Tabby Uprising

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Re: Do you speak?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 04:38:44 PM »
I have to say while I knew them as vocabulary words, I never other then eHell have heard people refer to "introverts" and "extroverts" and it always chafes me on eHell, as I find their usage somewhat obnoxious.  The usage of the words implies some sort of pleasure or something in reference to speaking or not speaking a lot.

While the tour guide was perhaps rude in tone, many adults don't expect children to be "extroverts" - which is to say most adults don't care if kids want to, or are happy to, or are comfortable speaking.  They expect kids to speak when spoken to and to answer relevant questions whether they are introverted or extroverted. (Which is my issue with the labels - I don't expects guests at a party to be extroverts, I expect them to be good party attendees, one aspect of which is holding down a few casual conversations over the course of the event, just like I don't expect long haul bus seat partners to be introverts, I just expect them to amuse themselves instead of relying on me for conversation for hours on end - for me its about personal social responsibility, not social comforts.)

Whether your son is introverted or not, he'd do well to learn how to verbally communicate effectively in appropriate situations and labeling him as an "introvert" I think is not doing him any favors, but rather enabling bad habits.  Introverts still need to answer questions throughout life.

Now perhaps the tour guide didn't actually require an answer but if your son was asked a polite question and he just stood there not speaking for a good length of time while he formulated his answer, that's pretty unacceptable behavior (unless your child is very very young).  Even if the answer is "I'm not sure" or "I need to think about it" or "maybe" if its coming across that he doesn't speak at all, that should be concerning.  Not answering people and just standing there staring blankly at them is generally considered rude behavior.

I don't believe kids any more than anyone else, should be expected to speak when spoken to.  In a classroom setting where that dynamic has been established is one thing, but just randomly on demand by a stranger?  Not so much.  "Do you speak" is rude to say to an adult and it's rude to say to a child.  If a person doesn't respond to your question immediately for whatever reason, you can think of something better to do than say "do you speak".

WillyNilly

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Re: Do you speak?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 04:40:40 PM »
Well this is what you told us:

...When random people speak to him, he will answer their questions but he takes his time and processes their information/question before answering...
 

Which is no where even close to him not even realizing he was being spoken to:

My son wasn't just standing there staring at her.  He was looking at the exhibit and it took him awhile to even realize that she was speaking to him.  He wasn't rude at all, if he were I wouldn't have posted and I would've talked to him about it.

But no, he doesn't just stand there and stare at people when they ask him questions.  He answers when it's appropriate.


If he didn't know he was being spoken to being an introvert is not relevant information.  Even extroverts sometimes are reading a sign or there's background noise and don't know they are being spoken to.  So your question is wholly different then your OP.

If he just didn't even hear or register being asked a question, then that would have been an appropriate answer: turn to the tour guide and say "oh are you speaking to [DS]?  I don't think he heard you."  Then to DS, "she has a question for you". 

If she was truly rude about it and you want a sharper answer, you can ask "why would you ask such a thing?  That's rather presumptuous, he simply didn't hear you."

Roe

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Re: Do you speak?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2012, 04:43:41 PM »
Go ahead and take apart my words all you want. I'm not going to argue.  Too tired for that.

However, what I'd like is advice on what I can do in the event this happens again?

Thanks to anyone who is willing to give advice! 

Fleur

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Re: Do you speak?
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 04:43:50 PM »
I have to say while I knew them as vocabulary words, I never other then eHell have heard people refer to "introverts" and "extroverts" and it always chafes me on eHell, as I find their usage somewhat obnoxious.  The usage of the words implies some sort of pleasure or something in reference to speaking or not speaking a lot.

While the tour guide was perhaps rude in tone, many adults don't expect children to be "extroverts" - which is to say most adults don't care if kids want to, or are happy to, or are comfortable speaking.  They expect kids to speak when spoken to and to answer relevant questions whether they are introverted or extroverted.  (Which is my issue with the labels - I don't expects guests at a party to be extroverts, I expect them to be good party attendees, one aspect of which is holding down a few casual conversations over the course of the event, just like I don't expect long haul bus seat partners to be introverts, I just expect them to amuse themselves instead of relying on me for conversation for hours on end - for me its about personal social responsibility, not social comforts.)

Whether your son is introverted or not, he'd do well to learn how to verbally communicate effectively in appropriate situations and labeling him as an "introvert" I think is not doing him any favors, but rather enabling bad habits.  Introverts still need to answer questions throughout life.

Now perhaps the tour guide didn't actually require an answer but if your son was asked a polite question and he just stood there not speaking for a good length of time while he formulated his answer, that's pretty unacceptable behavior (unless your child is very very young).  Even if the answer is "I'm not sure" or "I need to think about it" or "maybe" if its coming across that he doesn't speak at all, that should be concerning.  Not answering people and just standing there staring blankly at them is generally considered rude behavior.

QFT.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Do you speak?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 04:44:58 PM »
He sounds like my DH, whom many people mistake for being shy because he doesn't talk much.  Mostly it's because he takes a few extra seconds to think through what he wants to say, so in group conversation people tend to just keep going before he gets around to speaking.  It took a while when we were first dating for me to teach myself to stop and count to three before assuming he's not going to respond to something.  (Seriously: the most frequent comment when I first told people I was dating him was "That's great!  Uh . . . does he talk . . . to you?")

There's nothing wrong with being reserved/shy/quiet/introverted (pick any or all of these as applicable), and the tour guide was really out of left field on this one.  I doubt it's something you need to have a ready response for because this seems like such an odd thing for the tour guide to say that I doubt you'll have a repeat any time soon!

sourwolf

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Re: Do you speak?
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 04:45:15 PM »
I have to say while I knew them as vocabulary words, I never other then eHell have heard people refer to "introverts" and "extroverts" and it always chafes me on eHell, as I find their usage somewhat obnoxious.  The usage of the words implies some sort of pleasure or something in reference to speaking or not speaking a lot.


That's not what the words mean at all. Wikipedia has a fairly simplistic definition of the terms which may help you understand them better. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraversion_and_introversion

Just because they are not common in your life doesn't mean they aren't valid terms describing perfectly valid personality types.

The rest of your post also had nothing to do with what introverts and extroverts actually are.  I'm a classic introvert - I prefer to spend my time relaxing quietly or with a few friends, but that doesn't mean I can't or won't socialize in larger groups when the occasion calls for it.  Your entire post was really dismissive, and not a single trait you ascribed to introverts was accurate - those were all traits of *rude* people.

WillyNilly

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Re: Do you speak?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 04:47:01 PM »
I have to say while I knew them as vocabulary words, I never other then eHell have heard people refer to "introverts" and "extroverts" and it always chafes me on eHell, as I find their usage somewhat obnoxious.  The usage of the words implies some sort of pleasure or something in reference to speaking or not speaking a lot.

While the tour guide was perhaps rude in tone, many adults don't expect children to be "extroverts" - which is to say most adults don't care if kids want to, or are happy to, or are comfortable speaking.  They expect kids to speak when spoken to and to answer relevant questions whether they are introverted or extroverted. (Which is my issue with the labels - I don't expects guests at a party to be extroverts, I expect them to be good party attendees, one aspect of which is holding down a few casual conversations over the course of the event, just like I don't expect long haul bus seat partners to be introverts, I just expect them to amuse themselves instead of relying on me for conversation for hours on end - for me its about personal social responsibility, not social comforts.)

Whether your son is introverted or not, he'd do well to learn how to verbally communicate effectively in appropriate situations and labeling him as an "introvert" I think is not doing him any favors, but rather enabling bad habits.  Introverts still need to answer questions throughout life.

Now perhaps the tour guide didn't actually require an answer but if your son was asked a polite question and he just stood there not speaking for a good length of time while he formulated his answer, that's pretty unacceptable behavior (unless your child is very very young).  Even if the answer is "I'm not sure" or "I need to think about it" or "maybe" if its coming across that he doesn't speak at all, that should be concerning.  Not answering people and just standing there staring blankly at them is generally considered rude behavior.

I don't believe kids any more than anyone else, should be expected to speak when spoken to.  In a classroom setting where that dynamic has been established is one thing, but just randomly on demand by a stranger?  Not so much.  "Do you speak" is rude to say to an adult and it's rude to say to a child.  If a person doesn't respond to your question immediately for whatever reason, you can think of something better to do than say "do you speak".

No one is obligated to speak to a random stranger who just approaches out of no where, but that's really not what we're talking about.  This is was a tour guide, presumably someone with whom there was supposed to be interaction with - this was someone with whom contact had been purposely previously established by our OP on behalf of her son.

Ishe

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Re: Do you speak?
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2012, 04:47:16 PM »
I work as a children's librarian. To many of the kids I meet, I'm a stranger. I don't really expect them to answer me when I ask a question. I certainly wouldn't be mad at the kid or expect a full response. I think you did just fine. It would be something to take up with this persons supervisor as i couldnt be sure this wouldnt escalate fast one to one. The tour guide does not seem as if they were providing a good customer service experience, which should be their goal.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 04:49:14 PM by Ishe »

WillyNilly

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Re: Do you speak?
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2012, 04:49:13 PM »
I have to say while I knew them as vocabulary words, I never other then eHell have heard people refer to "introverts" and "extroverts" and it always chafes me on eHell, as I find their usage somewhat obnoxious.  The usage of the words implies some sort of pleasure or something in reference to speaking or not speaking a lot.


That's not what the words mean at all. Wikipedia has a fairly simplistic definition of the terms which may help you understand them better. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraversion_and_introversion

Just because they are not common in your life doesn't mean they aren't valid terms describing perfectly valid personality types.

The rest of your post also had nothing to do with what introverts and extroverts actually are.  I'm a classic introvert - I prefer to spend my time relaxing quietly or with a few friends, but that doesn't mean I can't or won't socialize in larger groups when the occasion calls for it.  Your entire post was really dismissive, and not a single trait you ascribed to introverts was accurate - those were all traits of *rude* people.

Well my point was I think when someone with whom you have established contact with asks a direct question and you "...takes [your] time and processes their information/question before answering" is rude.  I mean one needn't answer fully immediately but to not even acknowledge being spoken to, is IMO, rude.

Roe

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Re: Do you speak?
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2012, 04:49:30 PM »
I have to say while I knew them as vocabulary words, I never other then eHell have heard people refer to "introverts" and "extroverts" and it always chafes me on eHell, as I find their usage somewhat obnoxious.  The usage of the words implies some sort of pleasure or something in reference to speaking or not speaking a lot.

While the tour guide was perhaps rude in tone, many adults don't expect children to be "extroverts" - which is to say most adults don't care if kids want to, or are happy to, or are comfortable speaking.  They expect kids to speak when spoken to and to answer relevant questions whether they are introverted or extroverted. (Which is my issue with the labels - I don't expects guests at a party to be extroverts, I expect them to be good party attendees, one aspect of which is holding down a few casual conversations over the course of the event, just like I don't expect long haul bus seat partners to be introverts, I just expect them to amuse themselves instead of relying on me for conversation for hours on end - for me its about personal social responsibility, not social comforts.)

Whether your son is introverted or not, he'd do well to learn how to verbally communicate effectively in appropriate situations and labeling him as an "introvert" I think is not doing him any favors, but rather enabling bad habits.  Introverts still need to answer questions throughout life.

Now perhaps the tour guide didn't actually require an answer but if your son was asked a polite question and he just stood there not speaking for a good length of time while he formulated his answer, that's pretty unacceptable behavior (unless your child is very very young).  Even if the answer is "I'm not sure" or "I need to think about it" or "maybe" if its coming across that he doesn't speak at all, that should be concerning.  Not answering people and just standing there staring blankly at them is generally considered rude behavior.

I don't believe kids any more than anyone else, should be expected to speak when spoken to.  In a classroom setting where that dynamic has been established is one thing, but just randomly on demand by a stranger?  Not so much.  "Do you speak" is rude to say to an adult and it's rude to say to a child.  If a person doesn't respond to your question immediately for whatever reason, you can think of something better to do than say "do you speak".

No one is obligated to speak to a random stranger who just approaches out of no where, but that's really not what we're talking about.  This is was a tour guide, presumably someone with whom there was supposed to be interaction with - this was someone with whom contact had been purposely previously established by our OP on behalf of her son.
He sounds like my DH, whom many people mistake for being shy because he doesn't talk much.  Mostly it's because he takes a few extra seconds to think through what he wants to say, so in group conversation people tend to just keep going before he gets around to speaking.  It took a while when we were first dating for me to teach myself to stop and count to three before assuming he's not going to respond to something.  (Seriously: the most frequent comment when I first told people I was dating him was "That's great!  Uh . . . does he talk . . . to you?")

There's nothing wrong with being reserved/shy/quiet/introverted (pick any or all of these as applicable), and the tour guide was really out of left field on this one.  I doubt it's something you need to have a ready response for because this seems like such an odd thing for the tour guide to say that I doubt you'll have a repeat any time soon!

Thank you.  Yes, that's how my son is...so is my DH.  :)

I really hope you are right and this doesn't happen again. 

Tabby Uprising

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Re: Do you speak?
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2012, 04:50:03 PM »
To me, it doesn't matter if you are speaking to an adult, child, introvert, extrovert, or whatever.  If you ask someone a question and they don't respond (especially if they aren't even making eye contact with you when you initially addressed them), you can follow up with, "Excuse me? I wanted to know/ask..."

"Do you speak" is rude. You don't get a pass for being rude to people younger than you.