Everyone hates being underestimated. We want to feel included without others showing us condescension. At the same time, no one wants to be overestimated. We want to feel challenged without others overwhelming us. We recognize that children can be frustrated or disengaged, but we often fail to see that their feelings and behaviors are caused by the same things that stir up these feelings in adults — flawed assumptions about their abilities and interests. What if kids are more capable cognitively than we think? What if we demand too much of them pragmatically? Nowadays, we simultaneously adultify children and infantalize them, depending on the situation. But what if we have those situations backwards? In The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups (Viking, 2016), Erika Christakis shares her insights gleaned from years working with young children as a parent, preschool teacher, and preschool director.
Listen to the interview on New Books in Education.
Blogging my work as a teacher, educational consultant, speaker, and host of New Books in Education.