Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Kids judging adults

Mariposario has an interesting post about her child's encounter with an obnoxious teacher. I think it must be a bit of a let down for kids to encounter adults who are like that. Still, it's an important thing for them to learn about the world.

To very young kids, adults can seem omniscient. How can adults be wrong? When our son was around 5, we had to explain how we differed from his teacher about God. We never made a big deal about it. When they're that young, I think it's important to break it to them without contradicting their "benevolent universe" view.

A few years later, he began to understand that adults differ on a wider variety of issues. As kids move up from one class to the next, they learn that their teachers can be quite different. We would chat with him about the differences in his teachers, talking about their pros and cons. We also began to throw into the mix the fact that there would be times when he knows better than an adult, even if the situation demands he do as the adult says.

All in all it is a good way for kids to start learning about judging people, and about acting on that judgement. Judging people is not about classifying them along a single axis, but a little more textured that that. That's something kids need to learn. They also need this practice in becoming confident about judging others.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES! I cannot agree more. The problem with many of my students is that they believe that "it's wrong to judge." Over the years, I've tried quite earnestly to demonstrate to them that "not to judge" equals "not to think," and to ask them to whose advantage it might be if they don't think.

Always makes for interesting discussion.

7:21 PM  

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