When dealing with children, it’s essential to understand that their comfort is of the utmost importance. They may not quite understand why they’re being brought to a study or know how to express any uneasiness they may feel. When inviting young participants to a study, you would want them to feel comfortable from the moment they walk in. The waiting room is a great place to start. The setup of that room is crucial to social and emotional anxieties children also feel; so, what could we put on the walls to a 10-year-old feel at ease?
Originally, I had thought to not even put posters, but to lay out the walls with a series of activities (mazes, tic-tac-toe, things to that effect) so they could stay occupied while waiting. I still think it’s an interesting idea, but for the sake of this prompt I thought something more static might work too. So the idea came to me to hang posters of young children with careers. This would include things like a child president giving a speech, a child professor lecturing an auditorium of adults, a child chef, and a child police officer. Seeing these images would render children confused enough, I think, to ask questions and think about what they’re seeing. It would spark conversation with their guardian by them maybe saying “that’s going to be me one day!” It’s a core belief of mine that children must be spoken with and reasoned with in order to raise them effectively.
The idea came to me after remembering a recent trip of mine to the Apple- Upper East Side store. Huge posters (probably LEDs) of Nintendo’s Mario characters filled the walls and I can imagine my office being as symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing. Have a look.
I certainly felt like a kid and even though I went in for a MacBook, I really just enjoyed looking at the walls (while simultaneously saving $1300).
Caring for the children’s well-being doesn’t just stop at the waiting room or even the testing. Once children have completed the study, a short relaxation period may prove beneficial. Having kids listen to music is one way of offering this relaxation. There are no particular songs that I could mandate, however, because children have their own musical preferences. To each his own and this is no different for them. If the task is meant to put the children in a good mood, shouldn’t the music be tailored to their liking?