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It happened. And, it took me by surprise.

Our daughter has learned how to tweak the truth so as to avoid confrontation or hurt someone’s feelings.

After receiving a pair of shoes from her grandparents, she feigned delight and promptly put them away. Several days later I asked her to wear her new shoes and she shrugged. I questioned her and she stated they did not fit her. After further questioning she admitted she didn’t like her shoes.

I was confused since her reaction upon receiving them had appeared genuine. She explained she didn’t want to hurt their feelings, and opted to just put the shoes away and not wear them.

I’m thrown because my children are were as easy to read as a page in a book. Like most young children, they never hide their delight (or displeasure.) These are traits that both amused and embarrassed us.

I know something subtle and important has shifted in our daughter. The trick is to help her define the unclear boundaries between being polite and being dishonest.

December 23, 2009