Tact vs. Truth


My kids are at a dangerous age: the age of brutal, uncensored honesty. At six years old, Colin is pretty much growing out of it. (And thank goodness, because he has been the worst so far. Remember this ... or this?) But Coby, who will be three in September, is just beginning. And Cameron, newly four ... well, he's right in the thick of it.

Honesty is one of those things it's really tricky to teach your kids about. I mean, you tell them they should be honest at all times - no matter what. Then you might amend that to add, "Well, you should be honest as long as it isn't hurting anybody's feelings." But the problem with that explanation is that kids this young have a limited scope of what hurts people's feelings. They've never felt the sting of being called fat, for example, so they don't know that commenting on someone's weight can be hurtful.

Enter Cameron and his big uncensored mouth.

The other day when I was getting dressed, he was all, "Mommy, you have a really big butt."

A simple observation, yes. A true one? ... Um, perhaps. But did I want to hear it? Abso-frickin-lutely not.

"Cameron!" I admonished with a frown. "That's not a nice thing to say!"

I could tell by the look on his face that the poor little guy was confused. It was though I had scolded him for saying "the sky is blue" or "the grass is green." I felt bad momentarily, but he needed to learn that he can't just go around remarking on the size of people's posteriors. He didn't say anything else.

Fast-forward to a few days later. I was tugging my Zumba pants over my rear end when Cameron came into the room. He sat down on the edge of the bed. He looked at me for a minute, obviously noting my struggle. And then he said, in a very sweet voice ......

"That's a small butt you've got there."

I thanked him and gave him a hug, feeling slightly guilty, but proud that he had retained my lesson. Because I may not be teaching him to be honest, exactly, but I am teaching him one of the most fundamental skills of being a man: when it comes to weight or age, tact is often better than truth.

He'll thank me someday ...  







5 comments:

  1. My 4.75-year-old is the same way. Trying to break that habit. Also, that image is wicked awesome.

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  2. Just wait till one of them tells you.... "Mommy you have really LONG boobies." Not big, not small but LONG. Mine are both girls so I can't wait till they have children and breast feed and I can inform them that they now have long boobies too!

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  3. my nephew, autistic and completely uncensored all the time has announced to the world several times that "Aunt Tracy is fat" or "Aunt Tracy has a big butt and wiggle arms. I love the boy but damn if I didn't want to kill him most of the time. You are right, your boys will thank you some day.

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  4. Haha cute!

    Natalie will soon be 5 and she has been known to be blunt as well. Like the other day she said I don't look scary with makeup on. So I guess I look scary without it..

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  5. Unfortunately, my son always saved his most "honest" comments for grandma!

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