Among the bazillion things I desire to teach my children, teaching them to have tactfulness of speech ranks high on the list.
Tact is defined as…
1. a keen sense of what to say or do to avoid giving offense.
2. a keen sense of what is appropriate, tasteful, or aesthetically pleasing.
My parents did a fantastic job teaching their children how to be tactful, and I want to do the same. I am realizing, however, that it’s a bit harder than it appears. Kids often say anything and everything that comes to their minds!
Last weekend, I sighed a breath of relief when my two girls showed they’d actually listened to my lessons on tactfulness. I attended a cooking class with them at our local Williams Sonoma store. During the class, we made green smoothies. One taste of these smoothies would be enough to make most people cringe…it tasted like cucumber puree in a cup. It really was nasty.
I silently and discreetly placed the cups of smoothie in the nearest garbage can, and winked at my girls. Nervousness set in when the store employee asked, “So, girls…how did you like those yummy smoothies?” Crossing my fingers they’d respond tactfully, I smiled when Jayda said, “The class was fun. Thank you!”
Eureka!!! They got it…they understood my lessons on tactfulness, and put it into action. I was so pleased, and made sure to let them both know that. 🙂
And then, just a few days later, I was reminded that the lessons on tactfulness must continue. I am quite certain I am unprepared to parent a little boy. A little boy who likes to ask questions about personal issues. Ugh! I cringed when he walked up to my sister, in front of guests in our home, and asked her where her butt is. Oh.my.stars! And just the other day, when my mom and dad watched the kids, Titus carried on a very detailed potty conversation with my mom. I was mortified when she told me!
Maybe teaching tactfulness to a young boy will look completely different than teaching tactfulness to my girls. And so we continue on, learning along the way. 🙂 But seriously, I firmly believe having tact is something that many people lack. It’s something that, when possessed, will pay high dividends in life.
Any tips for this young mom who’s trying desperately to raise children with tact?