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Too Sensitive or Analytical: How We Make Decisions

5. Teach to Be Truthful and Tactful
Kelsey's friend was terribly upset that she'd gotten into trouble for forgetting an assignment. Kelsey listened to her woes and then responded, "Maybe you should have written it down." Kelsey's mother was mortified. "How can she be so insensitive?" she asked. "Kelsey has very strong feelings herself; doesn't she care about those of others?"

Because they value truth, thinking kids can get into trouble for being blunt. They tend to step back, analyze a situation, and matter-of-factly respond. They don't mean to hurt someone's feelings; they are just looking for solutions and being honest about what they perceive to be the facts.

During class one night, Dave started to laugh. "My son must be a thinking kid," he said. "The father of a neighbor died, and I had my kids write sympathy notes. Kenna, my little feeler, wrote, 'Dear Dick, I'm very sorry that Grandpa Dan had to die. I loved to ride in the golf cart with him.' Brad, my thinking kid, wrote, 'Dear Dick, I didn't know him as well as everybody else. I remember him driving the golf cart. I was too young to remember riding on the tractor with him, but my mom told me I did. That's it for memories from me.'

"I thought he could do a little better then that," Dave said "so I said to him, How about a little more compassion?" He responded, 'Dad, do you want me to lie? I really didn't know him very well.'"

You can count on factual kids to be straightforward and may have to teach them specific phrases like, "That's interesting," instead of, "That's stupid." Or, "I didn't see it that way, but I understand that you did," instead of, "You're wrong!"

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From the book KIDS, PARENTS, AND POWER STRUGGLES: Winning for a Lifetime by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, published by HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. Copyright 2000 by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. All rights reserved.

Buy the book at www.harpercollins.com.


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