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Father and Son’s Communication Case Report (Assessment)

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What form of interpersonal communication skills did the son possess?

The son had persuasive skills of communication because he convinced his father to tell him about the amount of money the father made per hour. Moreover, the son managed to get $9, while one day out of the father’s busy schedule costs $20. The son employed persuasive skills in his requests. In the first instance, the son demanded to know how much money his father made per hour, and even though the father responded coldly, that fact did not put off the determined son.

In spite of the angry response from the father, the son persisted until the father divulged the required information. Moreover, after the father had told him that he made $20 per hour, the son managed to borrow $9 from him despite the fact that he (the father) was visibly angry. Ultimately, the father ordered the son to go and sleep after he could not take in anymore of the son’s questions and demands. However, when the father followed him (the son) one hour later, the son applied his persuasive skills once more and managed to persuade his father to accept $20 in exchange for one hour of his busy schedule. Thus, the son was particularly persuasive.

Moreover, the son was extremely tactful because he did not tell the father that he wanted one hour of his busy schedule directly. Instead, the son began making his requests by asking his father how much money he made per hour so that he could calculate how much extra money he needed to cater for his father’s one hour. When the son asked his father how much he made per hour, he became so angry and asserted that it is none of his son’s business to know such matters.

Ultimately, when the father said he made $20 per hour, he calculated that he needed to borrow $9 dollars so that he could buy an hour of his father. The father was angry when he realized that his son intended to borrow him money. Since his father was angry and commanded him to leave for his room to sleep, the son left quietly. Eventually, the son surprised his father when he tactfully requested to buy an hour of his busy schedule using $20 that he had raised.

How about the father

The father possessed aggressive skills of communication because he was emotional and responded angrily to questions of his son. When the son asked his father how much he made per hour, the father responded angrily for he assumed that the son was intruding into his private matters. Although he later agreed to answer his son that he made $20 per hour, he did it in a angry manner.

Moreover, when the son went further and insisted that he wanted $9, the father became more angry and furious because he perceived that the son wanted to know how much he made per hour so that he could borrow money to buy silly toys for childish games. According to Pearson, Nelson, Titsworth, and Harter (2006), aggressiveness in communication occurs when one asserts own rights or selfish interests and disregard interests of others (p.157). Hence, the father became so aggressive that he could assert his interests and disregard requests of his son.

The father also had empathetic skills of communication because although he responded angrily to his son, he later realized that he had been too hard and agreed to offer requests of his son. In the first response, the father had asserted that it was not business of his son to know how much he made per hour, but within a moment, he responded that he made $20 per hour. In the second response when the son asked for $9, the father responded also angrily that the only reason the son wanted to know about how much he made per hour was to borrow money and buy silly toys for childish games.

Thus, the father commanded his son to leave for his room and sleep. After an hour of reflection, the father was empathetic and followed the son into his room where he apologized and gave him $9 as he had requested. Therefore, despite the fact that the father was aggressive, he was empathetic because he realized that he was hard on his son and decided to grant him his requests.

If you were the father, how would you respond to the little boy’s question?

If I were the father, I would have naively responded to him that I make $20 per hour to create a rapport for further conversation. Since I could not be in a position to understand why the son asked my hourly rate of making money, being honest would have enabled me to comprehend why he wanted to know such information. Maybe the son wanted to do an assignment that a teacher gave him, which involved calculating the amount of money that parents make in a day or he could have asked it out of curiosity. Regarding the second question of borrowing money, I would ask him why he needed $9. Whatever reason he could tell me, I would not deny him directly but I would rather let him know that he had to wait for some time until I get some money for him.

Concerning the third question, I would let him know that he did not need to buy my time because I could offer more than one hour for him at no cost at all. Such question indicates that the son missed me so much that he could do anything to have me spend ample time with him. Since he undoubtedly deserved my attention and company, I would explain to him how and why I have a particularly busy schedule that has made me spend little time with him. Thus, having made him understand my busy schedule, I would assure him that I would find some time so that we could communicate together and share many things with each other.

Explain how the father is meeting the child’s needs for inclusion, affection, and control

The father has provided son’s needs for inclusion because he allowed his son to ask whatever question he had. Having the freedom to ask any question, the son felt actively involved in discussion because he set the pace and topic of conversation. The son was actively engaging the father in discussion while, on the other hand, his father attentively listened to and answered his questions, even though he responded angrily. Additionally, since the father told him that he made $20 per hour and offered $9, the son felt valued and perceived that he is an esteemed member in family whom father can listen to and respond appropriately. Hence, the father met needs of his son by listening and granting him his requests.

Although the father responded angrily to his son’s requests, he did show affection when he followed him into his room after ordering him to sleep. When conversation started, the father allowed his son to ask any question that pleased him but during the course of conversation, the father became angry and commanded his son to leave for his room and sleep. Then, the father did not show any affection, but after reflecting on what he has done to his son, he realized that he had been hard on him. Thus, he decided to follow him into his room where he apologized and gave him $9 that he had requested. Therefore, the father did depict affection when he apologized and gave $9 to his son.

The father had also provided needs for control by allowing the son to have his way in his requests. Since the son aimed at convincing his father to give him one hour of his time, he employed tactics to persuade him. In the first question, even though the father responded angrily to his son, he eventually told him that he made $20 per hour. Having convinced his father to tell him that he made $20 per hour, the son felt that he could influence and control his father. Moreover, since he had also successfully convinced his father to give him $9, the son perceived that he could control his father; hence, he went further to request for one hour from his father. Thus, the father provided needs for control when he allowed the son to achieve his requests by offering them.

What dialectic tensions are present?

Dialectic tension present in the conversation is of integration versus separation. Pearson, Nelson, Titsworth, and Harter (2006) argue that, dialectic tension exists when a person feels like integrating with other people and at the same time wanting to exist as a separate entity (p.141). In the conversation, the son wanted to spend a considerable deal of time with his father; hence, he decided to raise money so that he could buy an hour of his father. In contrast, his father had a busy schedule so he could not afford to provide ample time for his son. Furthermore, when the father ordered his son to go into his room to sleep, he felt separated, and he followed him to get integrated again.

Another dialectic tension that exists in conversation is expression versus privacy. The father was in a dilemma whether to tell his son how much he made per hour or not. Furthermore, the father did not want his son to know about his busy schedule of job, but he eventually decided to disclose what he considered private. On the other hand, the son remained secret, for he did not tell his father what he was going to do with the money he was borrowing until when he surprised him that he wanted to buy one hour of his busy schedule.

How does the concept of bargaining apply to this story?

The concept of bargaining is applicable to this story because the father and the son conversed extensively with the aim of reaching a point of an agreement. According to Pearson, Nelson, Titsworth, and Harter (2006), bargaining is a process where two or more people converse in an effort to agree on how one should give and receive in a relationship (p.156). Therefore, conversation between the father and the son was a form of bargaining. The son wanted to give $20 to his father so that his father could give him an hour of his time. Hence, the father and the son could have reached a point of agreement if the father had agreed to offer one hour of his busy schedule in exchange of $20.

Does behavioral flexibility seem to be distinguished here?

Behavioral flexibility is particularly beneficial because it is going to help the father and the son to relate in new ways with understanding. Pearson, Nelson, Titsworth, and Harter (2006) assert that, behavioral flexibility is particularly crucial in communication because relationships constantly change with time (p.158). Since the father is unusually busy and does not have time for his son, he should attempt to reschedule his timetable and provide ample time that he can interact with his son. The son also needs to understand that, his father has a decidedly busy schedule, and thus, should stop pestering him when he arrives home because he may be in bad moods to relate well.

If you were a member of this family (the mother, a grandparent, or a sibling of the boy), what would you do upon hearing, about this interaction?

If I were a mother, I would have advised the father to understand the son by answering his questions quietly and granting his requests without much ado. Quiet response is noteworthy because it creates a rapport that is essential for development strong relationships. Moreover, I would have approached the son and advised him to understand the absence of the father and his aggressive behavior because he has a busy person. Thus, my intervention would have enhanced resolution of conflict between the father and the son so that they could live happily in their family.

Reference

Pearson, J., Nelson, P., Titsworth, S., & Harter, L. (2006). Human Communication with Learning Tool Suite (2nd Ed.). New Zealand: McGraw Hill.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Father and Son's Communication Case." February 22, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/father-and-sons-communication-case/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Father and Son's Communication Case'. 22 February.

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