Children Are Smarter than We Think

Children Are Smarter than We Think

Here is why you shouldn’t trust children. Listen and be warned!


Voiced Cheryl White

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I would like to tell you a story about why I don't trust children. Please don't judge me. I know what you are probably thinking. You're wondering what kind of evil person could say that they don't like kids. It's not that I don't like kids, but I do not trust them.

I babysat my nieces last week. They are adorable. Both of them have big blue eyes and cute curly hair. To top it all off, the younger girl has tiny chubby little toes that look irresistible when she wiggles them. Everything was going well with my niece, Katie, until she asked if she could have a cookie. The conversation went something like this:

“Auntie, I want a cookie.”

“Hmmm. I don't think we should have cookies right now. We haven't eaten lunch yet, Katie.”

“No, it's okay. Mommy always lets us eat a cookie before lunch.”

“I don't think ‘Mommy' would allow you to have a cookie before eating your healthy lunch.”

“Mommy always lets us eat a cookie. She says that the cookie motivates us to eat our lunches. Don't you want us to finish our lunches?”

“Yes, I do. However, I think you can finish your lunch without eating a cookie. Wanna prove it to me?”

Katie smiled and then left the kitchen. I prepared their lunches and served them at the kitchen table. Neither girl started eating. I looked at Katie, who was sitting in her chair with her arms crossed. Katie was now looking at me with a devilish grin. Katie was so proud of herself because she thought that she had found a clever way to make me give her a cookie. She thought that she could get me to give her a cookie if she refused to eat her lunch.

Maybe a nicer babysitter would have fallen for Katie's trick, but I am neither nice nor gullible. Katie also didn't account for the fact that I had no problem letting her sit at the table as long as she needed before she got hungry enough to eat—cookie or no cookie.

Katie's mom came home one hour later. She found her daughters sitting at the table with full plates of uneaten lunch. I was sitting at the table with the girls coloring with the baby. For a moment, I was worried that my sister would be angry with me for not just giving the girls a cookie so they would eat their lunches. I explained the situation to my sister, and my sister never shows any emotion on her face while I was talking. I did, however, look at Katie. My niece was not smiling anymore. Her mother being at the table made her very nervous. When I finished telling my story, Katie's mother looked at her daughter and explained that Katie was never allowed to have cookies during the day. “Katie, don't you know that I don't let you eat cookies before lunch. You lied to your aunt. Why did you lie to Auntie?”

“I just really wanted a cookie. You don't let us eat them. I thought I could get auntie to feed me one. I'm sorry.”

Where do children learn to lie so well? It made me wonder whether children are born liars or if the adults around them teach them to do it.