Posted: Dec 09, 2010 10:06 pm
by ChasM
I've taught middle and high school for 20 or so years, and I've always been impressed at how psychologically adept kids are at running circles around many adults, notably their parents and teachers (myself included). When I first started teaching, I was a bit too serious in the classroom sometimes, and students would drive me bananas. With a little reading on adult/teenager communication and some helpful advice from an administrator, I was able to step back from a situation, speculate what was going on in the kid's mind, refocus on the issue or perhaps defuse the situation with a bit of humor.

Hearing kids talk talking to their parents and about them, I came to understand the various strategies kids use to get their way (this was particularly true in families with divorced parents). It's quite amazing to watch. Essentially, kids are extremely adept intuitive psychologists, while many adults seem to have lost this ability. I see the same sort of thing in my 7 yr-old, whom I love dearly, but she can be a bit dramatic and willful at times, testing my patience on occasion. Fortunately, I have good deal of experience with kids, so I'm able to step back and analyze what's going on before I react, redirect, or concede. Without that experience, I would probably just react in an angry, doltish manner.

Some adults may indeed think that children are stupid. I think that kids in general are pretty sharp - many just lose that edge when they become parents themselves.