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Teaching Children to be Honest Yet Respectful

I have a regular guest over for dinner who, until last week, has made a point of being elaborate in praise over the way I cook my meat. Last week when I invited this guest to join us for dinner, she asked me whether it would be possible to add some flavour to my chicken as she felt it was a bit bland.

Many people would be quite angry at the request, but in truth, the request itself didn’t bother me at all. What bothered me was that she had previously lauded something which she never really liked in the first place. She obviously did it to make me feel better about my cooking. But I don’t want false praise, I want the truth. I am happy she was finally truthful with me about my seasoning skills, because had she not, I wouldn’t have realised.

There is a habit among many of us to avoid conflict by not being candid and up front with others. Many hide their true feelings, let resentments simmer under the surface and fail to address hurt feelings so as to avoid a major scene and a war of words. This isn’t a healthy practice. In fact, it is being disingenuous.

There is a way to be truthful and constructive whilst at the same time considering the feelings of others. There is a way to be honest and communicate important issues without causing acrimony. We must teach our children to say what they mean and mean what they say within such a context. That way, relationships will be based on trust, people will know where they stand, apologies can be offered and accepted for indiscretions and communication can proceed without intrusive boundaries.

Yes, it is crucial that matters are raised in a respectful and courteous manner. Yes, judgements must be withheld when they are petty and without purpose. But the last thing we should teach our children is to be phoney in order to avoid conflict.

Click on the link to read The Children of Today Show a Lack of Respect For Authority

Click on the link to read Is There Anything Better than an Inspirational Child? (Video)

Click on the link to read Instead of Teaching a Baby to Read, Teach it to Smile

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2 Responses to “Teaching Children to be Honest Yet Respectful”

  1. Jason Preater Says:

    I agree with this. I also think that you should not shrink away from saying what you want and do not want even if someone’s feelings are at stake. Some people wear their emotional delicacy altogether too much out on the street!

  2. Michael G. Says:

    Absolutely. Although, if you know a person is emotionally delicate you cant afford to be as pointed as you would be for others. That’s why these types of skills need to be related to children. That way, there will be fewer delicate types and more able to take on constructive criticisms without letting it galvanise them.

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