By the time you are in fifth grade, and sixth grade, you are literally twice as old as the youngest students in your school. Now think about that. If you start a college class at the age of forty, do you or do you not believe you have a significantly clearer idea about at least some of life's realities than someone who's eighteen or twenty? By thirty-five, forty, and forty-five, there are pragmatic affairs of life that teens do not tend to get introduced to. Therefore you - sometimes justifiably - believe you know better.
Well, look at someone in fifth grade or sixth grade. Have you ever considered how much of a difference there is regarding both knowledge and personal experience between someone who's still "just" in elementary school, yet is, according to the new math as well as the old, literally twice the age of their younger co-students? Children in kindergarten and first grade are but five and six years of age, whereas fifth- and sixth-graders are eleven and twelve, sometimes thirteen years old. Maybe your math is different from mine, but that sounds like double the age, doesn't it?
No matter what stage of life you're at, be confident of two things: there are people who have achieved twice as much, or gone twice as far, or made twice as much... and there are people on the other end, who have achieved just half as much, they known only half as much, they take only half as much action, and consistently end up with less than half the results.
When the students in fifth and sixth grades come to school, they are surrounded by people who are younger than them who really haven't got a clue about even half the things that the older students are hip to, that they understand and can act intelligently upon when and should they choose. Let's hold off on delineating the multiple powers and shortcuts that this one perfectly universal set of circumstances brings to approximately one hundred percent of the people who give it fair consideration. We do so in pursuit of getting you into the zone of resolution that brings so many great answers, by grabbing the first of so many mini-PowerGems that exist right in front of us, awaiting nothing more than our instant command for immediate performance. That, for those who aren't reading between the lines already, is the PowerGem of relativity. Not to be confused with Einstein's theory of relativity, although they both spring forth identically. The PowerGem of Relativity is nothing more or less than adjusting your mocassins. You may remember being told as a child not to judge another man until you've walked a mile in his mocassins. Native Americans are credited with first articulating this thus, although other holy writings from all major religions have similar precepts to promulgate.
Because those kids who are eleven and twelve know so very much more than the younger students, it is both natural and consistent for the older kids to boss around the younger ones, and generally have to work at being patient with the lack of knowledge and experience of the younger child. Because there are, from fourth grade on, always more younger and less knowing children, each individual child in fifth and sixth grades is going to be aware of the fact that they know so much more, and have experienced so much more than the youngest students.
So what causes adults to think, or to expect, that their kids who are eleven and twelve are suddenly supposed to revert to being the less knowledgeable one after school is out for the day or week? That's both unnatural and, emprically, has shown to be inconsistent to the point of being unusual, in some families even rare. When the student leaves school, and has developed new skills, from handling lunch trays properly or executing fire drills or answering a math question, they not only have new skills and new information. They are also in possession of the knowledge that they know this new information, that they can now readily perform what used to be difficult challenges, and Child, you need to remember that a mind stretched, an imagination stretched, is physically and cerebrally unlikely to ever go back to its smaller size. We can get stuck at a particular size; we do not, as a rule, go back to a smaller size. Sorry, but it's just not common to see a human of seventy years suddenly seeing their chest and stomach muscles tightening up to its original shape.
When students leave school for the day after developing or sharpening new tools, they are now in possession of knowledge they did not have that very morning before leaving home. Serious knowledge, because for years and years of our schooling, it's mostly knowledge that we can connect to other information or experience that we've had or can expect to someday encounter. Day after day after day new things are pushed in. Not so their parents, who either lack curiosity or lack the drive to continue learning. Because of the difference in number of calendrical revolutions, the parent automatically assumes himself or herself to figure he or she knows better than the child in all things. That leads to unilateral decisions that do not compute intelligently for the child, and further robs the child's education of answering questions, resolving challenging, setting and achieving expanding series of worthwhile goals. Because you didn't allow for relativity, the innate flexibility of relative interacting (it's actually relative intercourse, but that's too fraught with frenetic Freudian friappes and the Success Shortcuts Route is a family channel).
When you invest as little as five or six seconds considering that whoever you're dealing with who is younger than you most assuredly can benefit from what you know to be useful information. Sorry, ego-challenged among you, fact is, you can also learn from them. The very first time or two that you engage in this thinking and make it clear to the person you're speaking with that you are aware that they are always taking in new information and have something valuable to contribute, you quickly see that they mature as you stand there! Their own thought process goes from one that includes disempowering resentment to one that's encouraged and empowered. They work so hard to impress you with how smart they can be, how effectively they can think, or how creatively they can suggest answers, that the quality of those answers is assured to rise with every single repetition.
Even when there's heated difference between two positions, it is impossible for praise not to sink into a human's heart when the praise is based on something truthful. Never blow smoke up your kid's skirt or shirt, because even dumb children are hugely sensitive to deception from those they trust; far more so than you tend to demonstrate.
That doesn't mean giving your kids the keys to the house or car at the age of seven. It means allowing for the fact that, just as there is a huge difference between your base of knowledge and the younger person's; just because there is an even larger difference between the level of your experience and their experience, there are millions of people who have less knowledge and experience than both you AND the younger person you're interacting with. Understanding that relative difference enables you to realize that not only is this younger person not quite as ignorant or inexperienced as you thought, it means that you yourself both grow as a quality thinker and resolver as well as provide your immune system with an ongoing source of free boosting, along with finding that both of you end up with more answers steeped in quality rather than mere compliance with what may not have made sense to do.
Just as it is for our younger people, so too do the perfect truths of life apply to you, such as my favorite of them all: If you knew it better, you'd show it better by doing it better. When you do know it better, and show it better, we applaud and as icing to the cake, we also provide you the highest compliment of them all by seeking to imitate you... in hopes of duplicating your results. When you don't know it better and show it better, you have choices. Let's look at a few.
You can choose You can can do nothing differently, in which case your results will not differ. Poor you. That's the worst of all Life's ruts. Secondly, you might choose to find someone doing it better than you and copying them. That's smart, because it's fastest. Third, you might choose to try your own version of trial and error. That's wasteful, since you can save some of those trials and save many of the concomitant errors by learning from the errors that other people made who tried something many times. Fourth, you can combine two or more of the first three ideas. You also have the choice of producing yet another idea, or five or ten or a thousand ideas. The only sure thing you can take to the bank here is that, the more ideas you actually produce by listing them clearly in your mind or on tape or on paper, the more magnificent ideas your mind will produce. The beauty of this one is that it works for approximately one hundred percent of the people who try to make use of this PowerGem repeatedly. Those are pretty good odds, paying off far more than knowledge of which horse will most likely win a given race today.
Smart means learning from those, including yourself, who've done it correctly many times, and if you like to waste time, you can also learn a great deal from those who've done it incorrectly or inexpertly many times. No matter what human action or endeavor you address, you will absolutely find at least a few common traits, not just one, amongst every world-class producer who does whatever it is they excel at REPEATEDLY.