Rational vs. Intelligent

A continuous struggle this year has been figuring out how to talk to kids and trying to understand how their brains work. Coming from a situation where you're only interacting with college students, it's a big change interacting only with 8, 9 and 10 year-olds. My roommates and friends would argue plenty - sometimes lightheartedly and sometimes seriously. But no matter what the arguments followed a certain logic.

Now when you're dealing with kids that playing field changes. And the challenge for me is to separate intelligence from logic and rationality. Because some of my smartest kids still behave and argue very irrationally. For someone used to talking to peers and following certain rules when talking, this can be... frustrating to say the least.

I'm thinking mostly of The Woman-Child. I've mentioned she's an incredibly smart girl (I only know this from her verbal skills because she rarely completes work). But even though she's smart, this doesn't mean our confrontations follow any sort of logic. When I expect her to behave and argue rationally I get myself in trouble.

In the end I have to remind myself, as I often do, that these are just kids. Rationality is really a function of maturity. When you're just 9 or 10 you expect the world to conform to your expectations which are often self-centered and limited. Using this as a jump-off point, I can approach my interactions much more realistically and hopefully avoid future frustration.


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