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Parenting with a Story by Paul Smith

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TWENTY-ONE

Social Intelligence

Social intelligence is the ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls—to act wisely in human relations.1

—EDWARD THORNDIKE

Prom night is supposed to be one of the most exciting events of our lives. At least that’s what Walethia Aquil thought as a senior at Northwestern High School in Flint, Michigan. Unfortunately for her, it turned out to be one of the worst.

Just a few weeks before the prom, Walethia didn’t even think she’d be going. She described herself as “shy, with very little self-confidence, and not very popular.” The bottom line was that nobody had asked her yet. As the date got closer and closer, conversation in the hallways turned almost exclusively to the prom: what kind of dress ...

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