Friday, January 11, 2013

Positive Lies, Negative Truths



At work I’m an expert at telling positive lies in place of negative truths. As a teacher and a school administrator, I not only have to nurture our school’s students’ feelings, I have to do it for their parents as well.

When speaking to parent about his or her child, you have to know that even if a parent is listening to your comments objectively, the negative statements about his/her child doesn't hurt any less. I know I’m good at what I do because I can totally empathize with every single parent I talk to. Like any other parent, while my children are definitely my source of inspiration and strength, they are also my Achilles Heel.

Any negative statement regarding my children, true or not, is like a dull knife piercing through my heart. Such was the case when one of my dearest and respected relative spoke unfavorably about my children. While what she said was true and without malice, her comments were still hurtful.

And because I was hurt, I changed our entire vacation itinerary. Did I overreact? Probably.  Was I too sensitive? With out a doubt! But my feelings were definitely valid and justified.

So imagine me, reacting the way I did. I'm supposed to be a professional, who is very objective, and who usually take everything with a grain of salt. Now replace me with one of the many parents from my school.

Yes, I believe in telling the truth. But I also believed in bending the truth to achieve a bigger and better outcome. When it comes to talking to parents about their children’s academic, social, and emotional progress or lack thereof, one must thread lightly and cautiously. If one sets out to tell the unadulterated truth to a parent, one must be ready to face the repercussion. 

photo from: blog.lib.umn.edu

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