We like to think that we’re smarter than children, but in reality, without the grown-up baggage and misconceptions and, yes, biases that we have, they’re actually often quite brighter than we are. Consider this situation, a common occurrence with my seven-year-old daughter.
Yesterday I was trying to fit all of her new GeoSafari games into the actual laptop’s holder. I couldn’t get them all in and pronounced it hopeless. My daughter came along and started putting them in differently—just a few at a time.
“It won’t hold them all,” I told her, shaking my head. “I just tried it.”
She just glanced at me—barely!—and kept putting them in without a word. Within minutes, she proved me wrong with her patience. “Oh,” I said. “You got them to fit.”
She didn’t even smirk at me. It was so simple. And it happened again, two times, during the same day—once when she asked me to put wheels on a Lego creation and again when she wanted a shirt on her giant Care Bear. You’d think after a few reminders I would have got it, but nope.
“It’s not going to work!” I protested, only to either prove myself wrong within seconds—or for her to calmly do it again, without a word.
How does she even put up with me?