3 Childhood Superpowers You Never Knew They Had
Kids have it tough. Growing up isn’t easy, and the candy supply is never quite as well stocked as it should be. To make matters worse, there are always adults walking around telling them exactly what they can and can’t do.
As those very adults, we’ve gotten used to investing our time and energy into keeping them healthy and safe, if for no other reason than to avoid any unpleasant surprises. And we feel like we’ve got a pretty strong grasp on understanding what children are capable of.
Think again. Turns out that in addition to being quite competent at keeping themselves alive in most situations and possessing intelligence that we often take for granted, some of the abilities that kids have are downright shocking. Here are three that even adults can look up to.
Children Accurately Call President Elections Better than Adults
It’s no secret that when presidential elections gear up every four years, the country goes a little crazy. In addition to political ads that dominate the airwaves, debates, and endless news stories, we also have to contend with polls and predictions that begin earlier than the race itself. When it comes to the polling, any numbers before the night of the election itself have been notoriously inaccurate. Even the actual exits polls have yielded more than a few surprises in the past when the final tallies came in.
There is one little known group of people, however, who are almost always right when it comes to calling elections: children. Since 1964, Scholastic News has held a kid’s poll vote on the two presidential nominees. And children have correctly predicted the last 16 out of 18 elections. That’s more accurate than practically every other poll out there.
It could be because children may be likely to choose whoever their parents would pick, which would give an accurate temperature of the nation. But that doesn’t explain why the actual adult polls are less accurate. Either way, when November 2016 comes rolling around, if you want to know who’s going to end up in the White House, ask a kid.
Infants Are Speech Experts and Have More Skills than Adults
Here’s a fascinating fact: “infant” is derived from Latin, which means “unable to speak”. It makes sense. Most kids don’t start talking until after their first year, but infants actually start learning to speak from the day they're born and can do incredible things. For one, an infant knows the difference and responds differently between a native tongue and a foreign one. By 4 to 5 months, they can lip read and can match sounds in silent videos.
An infant can learn any language on earth simply by watching the mouth of the speaker over a period of time—something adults certainly can’t do. The truth is simple: you could spend months and years trying to learn another language, but a baby can kick your butt doing it, and does it automatically.
Babies Can Tell When You’re Lying
One thing we tend to value about kids is their innocence. We can all agree that children aren’t born racists, cheaters, or hating anyone. We learn negative behavior like lying and manipulation as we get older. A child, on the other hand, would surely believe anything he was told. But according a study by the Concordia Department of Psychology, babies as young as a year old not only know what a lie is, they can tell when you’re doing it!
In the experiment conducted on sixty babies aged 13 to 16 months, researchers split the kids into two groups. The first group watched an adult become really happy about receiving a box which was then revealed to the babies as having a shiny toy inside. In the second group, the adult acted happy, but then the box was revealed to be empty.
In the second part of the experiment, the same adults performed tasks in front of their groups and attempted to get their babies to mimic that task. In the first group, 61% of the babies mimicked their trustworthy adult. Whereas in the second group, where the adult deceived the babies by acting excited about an empty box, only 34% of the babies did.
"Like older children, infants keep track of an individual's history of being accurate or inaccurate and use this information to guide their subsequent learning," says researcher Diane Poulin-Dubois, “Infants choose not to learn from someone who they perceive as unreliable.”
Kinda makes you think twice about all those times you pretended to steal their nose.humor