Interviewing Moms with Their Kids

October 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

When a mom asks you if you would like her four-year-old to sit with her while she talks to you, and then she immediately says, “It could get a little crazy,” you might be thinking to yourself, “No, this will be great! It will give the interview color! Realism! Sweet!” You are delusional. It will not be sweet. It will be squirmy. Very squirmy. And loud.

Ask for some paper and crayons. Tell the child that it’s very important for your research that she draws you a cartoon of what her average day is like. You only ask very special people to help with this type of research. If you’re lucky, this will buy you 5 minutes of peace in which the mom will think of way better things than you ever could to occupy her kid’s time.

And don’t forget to solemnly take the cartoon at the end of session, put it in your notebook, and give the child an awesome sticker. You remembered the stickers, right? Bonus points if you send the mom a thank-you note with the cartoon included, letting her know that it has served its purpose in your research and is now a present for her.

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