It is a social skill to hold your tongue. I have held my tongue a lot. Most of the time I have been glad I did in that in learning more, I would have regretted what I said. Not having to apologize for my presumption is the least of the problem, it is just that what you say can never be fully retracted.
That said, I still think just telling it how it is is important. When I taught school, beating around the bush about a child's problem actually exacerbated the problem. My dad said to describe exactly what the child was doing, the parents would recognize it.
|Wintertime in Georgia|
My dad was right. One year I was fed up with the profession. I had planned to get myself together that year financially, etc and look for another job. At parent conferences, when I spoke to parents, I could hear the soft scrapping of chairs as my colleagues briefly pushed back their chairs afraid of my rhetoric. None of the parent's got mad, they recognized what I was saying.
Yes I did have a few "hard nuts" I could not crack. Like all things, I worked with what I had. Interesting enough, I had several of those children in the night school program I taught at in subsequent years. Those same parents who felt their children were delicate china at one time could care less about their discipline. Children's uncontrolled behavior eventually make their parent's miserable.
There is another type of child that is hard to discipline because of difficult parents. These same children have to foist that parent's anger off of them to you. I told one little girl whose parents made me miserable that I did not remember her. How else do you start with a clean slate on a formerly bad relationship. With a straight face I told her she must have been pretty good, I remember the difficult kids.
Long story short, I taught this child math and when I worked with her individually, she shared how she hid in her bedroom when home. The night school worked well because her mother went into her tirades worst in the evening.
Even though that "white lie" was useful, I still don't believe in saying them. Very rarely do they help.
I had a student that the assistant principal felt sorry for the mom and situation. The boy was a "holy terror". There was no checkmate. I understood the AP's compassion. But, I had that child for about 3 hours out of the seven hour day. Long story short, he got older and into big trouble. Mom had a hard time coping but the situation got way out of hand. It may have gotten there anyway; but, it is easier to stop things in the beginning.
My other feeling about honesty is that we are creatures of habit. I have known people who were very nice, earnest people. I also knew they lied very easily and about matters of little relevance to anyone including themselves. I ran into a consummate liar this past month. I'll use what he had in a story. You have to respect a person's privacy even though you despise what they did. Plus, you can be sued. They may not win; but what a lot of time lost.
Why am I talking about lying. Well, when negotiating with people you lose the truth at times.
The good news is my sister is in a rehab hospital for a few weeks. Hopefully, she will be able to stand and walk some when she leaves. More importantly be able to bathe, dress herself, and use the toilet. Big steps to getting back to a normal life.
Her physical therapist is young. My sister is frustrated with her body and yes there is pain. The physical therapist is good and inept. Inept in that she is lecturing my sister. When you work with children or adults, the more you talk, the less you communicate. Long story short, she wanted to discuss my sister's temper. I did not know what to say. She does have a temper. So do I. So I said, "I guess it is the Irish in us."
If I told her the truth (I felt aggravated with all the pep talk lecturing she was doing), she would have been offended. There would be about a 20 percent chance she would have listened. At that age, I would been the same. So today, I am going to give my sister a pep talk. I'm giving her a glittery necklace to use like a tiara. When she goes to therapy, take off the tiara. You're just an ole Cinderella until the therapy is over. I'm giving her a nicer necklace to wear to remember she can do it.
It's a mind game. When I left yesterday, I worry they will throw my sister out. Hence my visit today will be for another dose of my homemade physical therapy as well as companionship. Hopefully one or both will egg her on. It's easy to ask someone to suck it up. I just wish her the best in doing it. She has other therapist which I hope will help the physical therapist.
How would you handle this?
I will eventually say something if it persists. It's ridiculous for a twenty something healthcare worker to do all that lecturing about something she has never faced.