Friday, 7 March 2014

The art of tact...

I've never been a very tactful person and it's something I remember people commenting on from a young age. I don't have a filter, I never have done, and I have one of those faces that show exactly how I am feeling. I can't laugh unless something is funny, I can't smile unless I'm happy. I can't pretend to like someone if I don't. Sometimes it's put me at a disadvantage, but the people who do like me always know I will be honest with them and I do try my very best not to say hurtful things to people.

Recently I've noticed a similar trait in my oldest son. I was really shocked a few days ago when we were watching "Jungle Run" and he suddenly said, "that girl is fat" about one of the contestants. Although I don't mince my words, I would never talk about someone in that way and certainly not in front of him. I immediately spoke to him about how it wasn't kind to say that about someone and he was not to say that again. He was confused though, he explained that he'd been learning about staying healthy and that if we eat too much of the wrong food we get fat. I couldn't disagree with that, but it did lead me to question what else he might be coming out with..I didn't have to wait long.

A few days later we were at an after school club and he felt the need to inform one of the other children about their physical disability, loudly. I was absolutely mortified and immediately apologised to the child's mum who just said she gets it all the time and she wasn't at all bothered. But I was. Then the very same day he said to his Daddy, "you have a big belly" which was just totally unncessary too.

I'm cringing just thinking about it but it made me think - where is the line between being honest and being hurtful. He was saying things that were true, but to me they were hurtful comments that people should keep to themselves. Where is the line between telling the truth and being insulting and rude and more to the point, how do I teach him not to cross it?

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