Why do so many people think children are stupid?

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Re: Why do so many people think children are stupid?

#61  Postby The Damned » Dec 11, 2010 8:30 pm

Animavore wrote:This is a pet hate of mine.
I remember being a child and I remember adults patronising me and thinking I was fucking stupid :nono:
I don't get why adults do this. Do they not, also, remember being a child?


No adults are fucking retarded. :D

:lol:

Yeah I agree I was a bright child I never needed to be talked to slowly and have points reiterated a million times. I tend to therefore treat kids like they have a mind, and can think, patronising kids in the modern world when they are often so savy is pointless. Kids today are far more savy about the adult world than I ever was so we should cut them some slack until they start acting like idiots. Essentially kids are idiots, but we should only treat them as retarded when they behave like idiots. We shouldn't assume by default they are.
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Re: Why do so many people think children are stupid?

#62  Postby ChasM » Dec 11, 2010 9:44 pm

The Damned wrote: I had a good grounding as child, I pushed the barriers but the line was clear, you crossed it you got a metaphorical slap, I don't think a lot of children have a decent line nowadays.

That's the nub of the problem for permissive parents: they keep allowing the line to be drawn back - for the most part out of fear of hurting their child's feelings or self esteem. Kids aren't stupid; they know that apparently sincere words from parents can evaporate when push comes to shove. And parents hardly realize that kids aren't looking to their words, but their actions.

A lot of parents these days want to be their kids' buddies rather than their parents, particularly in divorce situations (of which I find myself in, but fortunately for our daughter, her mother and I are pretty much on the same page as far as discipline).
children are no different than they were 200 thousand years ago, to excel all they need is a decent role model, and someone who hasn't forgotten what its like to be a child also.

True.


Animavore wrote:I remember being a child and I remember adults patronising me and thinking I was fucking stupid :nono:I don't get why adults do this. Do they not, also, remember being a child?

For the most part, it's an authority thing. It's a common bias that the majority of people believe themselves to be right on most issues, and that their life experience and beliefs, accrued through a few decades of learning, counts for more than the simple wisdom of children (e.g., when children ask questions or make assertions to the absurdity of, say, God, they'll most likely get patronizing apologetics or a stick to the behind). Also, parents and adults tend to forget their own childhoods, but remember their authority models and their methods.

Another thing: in today's overcrowded world, with excessive work obligations and media sensory overload, parents tend to take shortcuts in dealing with their kids because of limited time. And appeal to authority is a shortcut.
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Re: Why do so many people think children are stupid?

#63  Postby reisender » Dec 11, 2010 10:05 pm

I learned a lesson from a This American Life podcast, where they interviewed children.
Even at around age 7, children say they hate it when adults talk to them 'like kids' in a high tone baby voice.
They also seem to hate the question "how is school?".

I'm not often exposed to children, but when I am, I talk to them like a normal person.
Not sure yet, but in the few cases I have, I get the sense that people think I'm strange.
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Re: Why do so many people think children are stupid?

#64  Postby ChasM » Dec 11, 2010 10:22 pm

reisender wrote:Even at around age 7, children say they hate it when adults talk to them 'like kids' in a high tone baby voice.

Reminds me of a good point that I forgot to add in the post above. Often parents and teachers are completely unaware of their change in tone when talking to children (on occasion, I sadly must include myself in this category). Of course kids pick it up right away. I encourage my 7 year-old to call me on it.
They also seem to hate the question "how is school?".

Yup, that sure is a deadly question, one that is almost guaranteed to elicit a null response (with a touch of contempt) :snooty: . And yet I find myself dropping in on occasion when picking her up from school. (:doh: Some people have a tough time learning. Her teacher did give me a handy question sheet about specific things - activities, books, friends, etc. - which has been much more effective than that unimaginative question.)
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Re: Why do so many people think children are stupid?

#65  Postby Foxy » Dec 25, 2010 7:18 am

When I was a kid, I used to hate it when adults talked to me in that stupid high baby tone. It drove me crazy. I had a babysitter once who always used that tone of voice, and said really stupid things all the time like, "Jesus doesn't like it when you lie. Now be good little girl and tell the truth." I never bothered taking anything she said seriously. She really wasn't the sharpest tool in the box if you catch my drift.
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Re: Why do so many people think children are stupid?

#66  Postby scruffy » Dec 25, 2010 8:43 am

All I mean when I ever say kids are stupid, is that had an adult done what they just did, I would consider them a little... slow.
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Re: Why do so many people think children are stupid?

#67  Postby Dudely » Jan 10, 2011 5:10 pm

I just wanted to pop in and say I agree with the OP. The world would be a way better place if kids were treated for what they are - adults with less experiences and a less developed sense of long term decision making. That's it. No need to talk to them like if you use big words they'll get confused. My father understood this, and at age 13 I probably had the vocabulary and writing skills of a university student. This doesn't mean I didn't have boundaries though- forget to bring in the firewood and I'd have some serious explaining to do.
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