There are parents who believe that the normative aspects of childhood are overated and in fact retardant intellectually and psychologically. They believe that children are far more intelligent and mature than they are given credit for. Children who are little adults are often prodigious and intelligent at a very early age due to parental expectations. Such children feel more comfortable in the company of parents and other adults than they do with other children.
It is nothing for such children to interface with adults on an equal basis. They are quite adept with discussing oftentimes complex subjects with adults thus developing skills which will be highly advantageous to them later on in life. Many children who are little adults are far ahead socially of other children who interface primarily with children. Children who are little adults have an intellectual acuity which the average child does not have. They are quite comfortable in adult company and are not timorous when faced with adult authority as opposed to children who were more inculcated to be a "normal" child. In fact, children who are little adults find so-called normal children to be less developmentally and intellectually acute, even immature. What do you think of this premise?
We treat all our children like little adults, at least in polite conversation or throughout the day. We do not push upon them adult responsibility quit yet, no need to show them what adult stress is all about. But they respond to being treated as equals with much more enthusiasm then when we treat them as "children."
Treating children as little adults is fine. Children are more intelligent and reasonable than we give them credit for. The worst thing a parent can do is to treat a child condescendingly. Children should learn the art of conversation on an intelligent level. Children should also be taught to interact effectively with adults. Children who are forced to primarily interact with children tend to be stunted intellectually and developmentally.
What so many people fail to understand that there is a marked difference between being a little adult in the positive sense, not the negative sense where a child does not have a normative childhood. The latter type of little adult is a sad case indeed. What I am discussing is a child who is intellectually developed, has a command of intellgent conversation, and knows how to interact with adults as well as children. So many children are compartmentalized, feeling awkward among adults, including parents and other trusted authority figures, only feeling comfortable among other children. So many parents talk down to their children, treating them as the lesser. If a child has an intelligent thought and opinion, he/she is told to stay in a child's place.
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