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The Serious Business of Small Talk by Carol Fleming

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19How to Raise Fluent, Comfortable, and Charming Kids

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL

I was at a Christmas dinner recently, and since it was somebody else’s family I could observe the interactions quite deliberately. It was a rich, multigenerational affair with people talking, drinking, eating—repeated over and over again. They were catching up with each other. There is something so sweet about this ritual of renewing relationships and filling in on recent events, all done with interest and goodwill.

A young man caught my attention when he leaned over the kindergarten set and said, “Hey, guys! How are you doing? Having any luck with that puzzle?” Followed by “Hi, Grandpa! Glad you are here. You’re looking pretty sharp today!” And then to me, “Hello! ...

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