The other day a visiting child cut David a paper square. She was very pleased with it, and tried giving it to David. David did not want it, so he was kind of running away from her. I started to tell David what to say, and I realized mid lecture that I was blurring the lines between tact and dishonesty. I stopped and told him he needed to answer the girl. He said, “I don’t want it.”
Yesterday at storytime another preschooler asked David if he wanted to hear him sing a song. David didn’t know what to say. I told him, “Answer him. Say yes or no.” David said no.
I could have told him to say “Sure.” Sometime later I’ll teach him how to be tactful. Before I teach that, I need to teach him to respond instead of ignoring the person when he doesn’t know what to say. Teaching to be tactful, now I can see that is going to be interesting. He’s a literal minded kid, and I suspect he’s not going to see the gray area between tact and honesty. Now that I think of it, maybe that’s why he’s not responding in these difficult situations.