We all know children are great daydreamers and are technology savvy, but they possess skills that at your age you are expected to have and you may actually believe you have. Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely you are better at these skills than your average five-year-old. Let’s take a look at some common skills that kids are better at than you are:
1. Eating – Watch your kids, they do it correctly. While you inhale your burrito in 3 minutes they are picking through, exploring, and savoring…slowly. Taking more time to eat will not only help you to appreciate your food and properly digest it, but you will be more likely to consume less calories, as it takes a few moments for your stomach to tell your brain when it’s had enough. Therfore, you will eat less.
2. Observation – Kids are a marvel of data intake. They continuously observe the world and how their actions affect it and vice-versa. Not only are they learning at an unfathomable rate compared to an adult, they are looking at you a lot more closely than you are looking at them. That’s why it’s important to model good behaviors because children will copy what they see from adults, even if you don’t think they’re watching.
3. Emotional intelligence – Being excellent little observers, kids are constantly searching for information. They know mom and dad don’t tell them everything, so they have to piece together clues like detectives. Most children outside of the autism spectrum can readily identify emotions through reading facial expressions and body language or know very well how they would feel in another’s shoes in many situations they are familiar with. Preoccupied with the world’s view of them, adults are less keen on these abilities and focus on themselves rather than others. If you need an example, think about what you are doing and thinking of while engaged in a conversation at a party. Are you training on their visual cues, thoughts, and feelings or that of your own?
4. Witness reporting – Children report the things they see while adults report what they think they see. Using their superior observation powers, children report excellent information with untainted results. If you give a structured query, a child will reply with an accurate answer, every time. Not only will an adult not observe as well as a child, but they add false descriptions and accounts to their statement due to a host of social reasons (ie: ego, bias). While adults have the ability to report information just as well as children, utilizing correct questioning techniques is necessary in order to deal with these issues and acquire accurate and complete information. (Become an expert questioner through questioning skills courses at: intellecturetraining.com)
5. Reserving judgment – As children are eager learners and excellent observers, they do not often attempt to apply prior knowledge to every new circumstance. They want to soak up as much new information as they can, which enables them to proceed without bias or judgment. Adults tend to readily apply knowledge from prior similar circumstances – no matter how irrational. This is the root of many social issues. For example, it’s easy for us to believe that a person of a certain color, of a certain religion, or from a certain place will certainly repeat the actions of those whom we have prior experience from that particular demographic. A child wouldn’t make that mistake as they know they are as unpredictable as anyone.
While your knowledge of the world is far superior than that of a child, your experience distorts the image in front of you. You’ve gotten lazy and have picked up bad cognitive habits in life. You inappropriately apply social constructs to practical issues. You think about work rather than how the food in your mouth tastes. So take the time to observe, acknowledge, address, and savor what is in this moment, right now. Your kids are watching.