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The Importance Of Tact

It goes without saying that children's personalities are not so uniform and
simple that we can adhere always to a single stereotyped procedure in working
our way into their good graces. Suggestions like the above have their value, but,
like rules of etiquette, they must be supported by the tact which comes of intuition
and cannot be taught. The address which flatters and pleases one child
may excite disgust in another. The examiner must scent the situation and
adapt his method to it. One child is timid and embarrassed; another may
think his mental powers are under suspicion and so react with sullen
obstinacy; a third may be in an angry mood as a result of a recent
playground quarrel. Situations like these are, of course, exceptional,
but in any case it is necessary to create in the child a certain mood,
or indefinable attitude of mind, before the test begins.

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