Are children smarter now than in the past?

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I can't help but roll my eyes whenever I hear people say "children nowadays are smarter". It's sometimes inappropriate for me to voice out my views, e.g. when parents obviously want to indulge in praising their own kids (and indirectly praising themselves for having good genes or for nurturing such "smart" kids), so all I can do is roll my eyes.

In olden Chinese days, if you can memorise and regurgitate poems and books, you're an imperial scholar! Nowadays, who cares how much you can memorise?

People acquire (new) skills for survival. Social skills and computer skills are necessary in this day and age. Just because children nowadays talk more and they know how to use computers doesn't make them any smarter than children in the past. All they have done is acquire skills that were not needed in the past.

Not so long ago silence was regarded as golden. If you talked too much in class, you were made to stand on the chair, face the wall, or stand outside the classroom. Nowadays, children who don't "participate" in class are suspected of being retarded or, as we call it nowadays, to have learning or social disabilities. Einstein was thought to be retarded when he was young! [Read Solitude and loneliness, anti-social and introverted]

In the past, children constructed their own toys, e.g. water bombs, paper bullets, catapults, kites, etc, instead of buy toys. If they could make some really nasty toys they are regarded as smart. Now, children play with toys that are manufactured and computer games. Those who are good at computer games are said to be smart.

I hope that people will stop saying that children these days are smarter. It's precisely this mentality that causes in younger employees to be favoured over older ones and children to have less respect for their elders. Ironically, older people are the ones who perpetuate this notion and thereby condemn themselves to obsolescence.

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