Kids today are smarter than their parents?

How often have you heard it said that kids today are smarter than their parents? I’ve heard it quite frequently in the media – even Dr Phil has said it. I say speak for your self. It’s not true and don’t let the media fool you.

Today’s kids may have access to more information that may give them more choices but in my experience, they only take in what they want to hear and still make stupid, uninformed decisions. Just like we used to at their age.

Like any cross section of people there will be exceptions. There are kids that are genuinely smarter, more mature and responsible for their age. However the vast majority know everything they need to know by the time they turn fourteen. They’re ‘adult’ enough to be responsible for all their own decision making so parents should just let them do what they please…right? Just like we thought at fourteen.

Don’t be fooled. Just because your son knows how to download MP3’s onto an ipod, or your daughter can chat to five friends at the same time on her mobile phone, this does not make them smarter. They just know about different stuff to you. Chances are they have no idea about wash cycles, settings for different fabrics on an iron or that vacuum cleaners have different heads for different surfaces. Many would not have a clue about fixing a leaky tap, unclogging a toilet or cleaning up a beetroot stain.

This generation is no smarter than any generation that came before. Having access to more information does not mean that your kids are accessing more information. They’re still just as self absorbed and worried about ‘being cool’ as you probably were at their age. Our kids are not smarter than their parents. Don’t let anyone tell you different – not even Dr Phil!

12 comments:

  1. Hello...

    I just signed up to this site and was curiously looking through other blogs. I just wanted to tell you how much I liked your work. It's really soulful. Best wished from across the globe.

    H.W. Dudgeon

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  2. Thanks very much, always great to know my work is getting seen internationally. I apprciate that you took the time to let me know.

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  3. Quite true TET...we all have something to bring to the table, and those which came before us have passed the food with much wisdom. We stand on our parents shoulders, and so forth, and so on.

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  4. Hear, Hear! We have the wisdom of experience, which, hopefully, we will all gather as we mature! Most do, some don't - some never do! I always thought I was more mature for my early teens, not being allowed to run with the crowd, but our technology was the 'new' transistor radio of the sixties, as big as a small shoe box, but not as wide, with 'convenient' carry handle for portability!(no ear 'phones in those days) Next it was the 45s smaller records, as against the huge dinnerplate size bakalite 78 LPs, which became vinyl in the 70s, but with more than one song on each side.

    I am doing my best with the technology and have come a long way with the computer, and am pleased that I am abreast with the computer age - thanks to TET - but I didn't think I would ever use the computer when he gave me my first old one! (have a spanking new one now after 6yrs!)

    The mobile 'phone my daughter got me leaves me in a bit of a whirl, even though it is only a basic pre-paid one, but I have done some text messages which takes me quite awhile with the small letters, until I have memorised where they are!

    Now - where is that digital camera that I have had for 12mths with the info book at the ready on the coffee table! I'll be into it soon! Really!

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  5. I agree.. with two small boys I'm sure they will know a lot more than I will by the time they are 14 in terms on technology and how things work (my 6 year old is currently learning powerpoint at school.. I'm going to get him to teach me!) having said that, it certainly doesn't prepare them emotionally for life, that is the parent's job. I still believe that it is the parent's decision to decide what their children are exposed to in terms of technology and entertainment. My kids are only allowed to watch kids movies that I deem situable for them and play games on websites that I choose. Not sure how long I will be able to control their environments for, but do you know what? I'm never asked for the latest "cool" toy that is plastered all over the ads on kids television.
    Lauren.

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  6. That just screws with my head knowing that a six year old is learning powerpoint in school. Even though computers were still new in my younger days you couldn't get near a course teaching you how to use one until Secondary School...and even then you had to choose it as an option (which I didn't because art was my focus).

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  7. You should consider using objective data, rather than basing your argument on your subjective opinions and insights. Consider this:
    Phyllida Brown

    A CLICHE it may be, but you have to admit it's true. Most kids are much better than their parents at programming the video or setting up the new computer. Almost certainly they can thrash Mum and Dad at video games. And they probably think they are smarter than their parents. But here's the surprise: those kids may be right. If IQ tests tell us anything at all, today's young people really are smarter than their parents. Studies from numerous countries suggest that IQ scores have been rising fast since at least the 1950s-enough to mean that someone with an IQ classed as average then could be labelled as having low intelligence today. Humans, it seems, are getting cleverer and cleverer with each passing generation.

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  8. Thanks for the insight Nicolas. I have two points to raise as a response...

    Firstly, this blog is entirely about my subjective opinions and insights (my 'point of difference'). People can certainly disagree with my opinions and prove me wrong with actual data but if they're looking for well researched reporting then perhaps this isn't the blog for them. I like to think of this blog as being like a conversation rather than an essay.

    Secondly IQ tests only measure 'intelligence' as opposed to my technical term 'smarter' (LOL) which covers more than just intelligence. My post is talking about 'collective knowledge' i.e. everything that contributes to how smart a person is, not just whether a person can do well on an IQ test.

    I can do fabulously well on an IQ test (better than my partners kids whom are more than half my age) but stick me in the middle of a jungle with a native tribesman (who may not even know what an IQ test is) and tell me who's 'smarter' in surviving in that environment. (I don't recall my IQ tests ever having questions about surviving in a jungle).

    My point in this post is that kids aren't actually smarter they just know different stuff, usually of a technical nature or to do with technology, which makes them seem smarter.

    However when it comes to filling out a tax form or balancing a house hold budget so you have enough money to cover all the bills without blowing it all on DVDs, Video Games and fast food... well there aren't many 14 year olds that have a clue about that.

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  9. "However when it comes to filling out a tax form or balancing a house hold budget so you have enough money to cover all the bills without blowing it all (out)"- I completely agree with this statement. There are tons of different technologies out there that makes life a little bit more exciting and convenient, which as expected of older generations, wouldn't be able to catch up to the younger people. That however doesn't mean you have to blow out all expenses to buy these in bursting nature.
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  10. I don't think they are smarter if by that you mean they have better brains. They think better on their feet; they can solve problems on the spot without being told what to do; they are better at working with shapes, thanks in part to the Internet and the computer. But they have no larger vocabularies and are no better at arithmetic.
    irs tax attorney

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  11. I completely agree with this, I am a highschool student into all sorts of computer related things. I have taken 4 classes dealing with design, i know my way in and out of a computer. But i dont know a bit about a wash cycle or how to iron cloths. I just take it, you turn the nob on the washer and it starts.

    This realy let me see ive got a long way to go, and i dont know it all.

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  12. And they should be but are not, particularly history, if you are under 30, history is..Bush bad, Obama good. End of lesson

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