Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ideas? Comments? Thoughts?


WHO:    Any teen in possession of a brain, preferably in their head.

WHAT:    Studies have been quoted all over the Internet for years, stating a teen’s brain is not fully developed, or that the frontal lobe integration is not complete, or that the area of the brain that limits risky behavior is out of sync, and therefore the child you are considering locking in the closet until his or her 43 birthday, is not actually at fault, it is simply a biological problem

WHEN:    From the time they start making bad decisions, until the time they start making good decisions, or they are sleeping on someone else’s couch.

WHERE:    Depends on which brain scan you look at, some brains are harder to detect than others.

WHY:    I can’t say that I support this research.  It seems pretty convenient.  For centuries, teens were expected to live their lives, and part living their lives effectively, was being respected and respectful people.  In the last few decades, we have lowered the standard, a bunch, and kids have (rightly) responded by staying just below the lowest set bar.  Magically, we have found a biological reason for their behavior.

I read an article that explained that you can’t expect a child to make good decisions consistently, as the teen brain is a work in progress.  Ok.  That makes sense.  I would assume from the day you are conceived until the day you die, and perchance a few days after that, the brain (and every other cell in your being) is changing in some way, shape, or form.  I can support the notion that my brain now, and my brain in my teen years, and my brain when I’m 92, might not resemble each other much, but then, my neck now, my neck as a teen and my neck at 92 aren’t going to resemble each other much – but so far, it’s doing a pretty good job holding my head up.

Then I read an article about a teen that had half her brain removed, and managed to live her life just fine.  Actually, it said she thrived.  Thrived!

So, your kid, or my kid, can’t pick his underwear up off the floor, gets called to the office 12 times a week, and can’t manage to make it home on time, because his brain isn’t firing on all cylinders, but a young woman that had half her brain removed manages just fine.  Hmmm…

I’m thinking there is the smallest chance that it isn’t all about the whole biological thing, as much as it is about the whole holding-your-child-to-a-higher-standard thing.  I fully expected my kids to use whatever part of their brain was functioning that day to get the job done.  I don’t think that is too much to ask. 

Just how disrespectful of a child is it to say, ‘That’s ok Sweetie, your wee little brain isn’t capable of really complex notions like – cause and effect.  I can teach you not to put your hand in boiling water at a very young age, and that makes sense, but as a teen, I can’t expect you not to take outrageous risks.  Sweetie, please, please, don’t stick any important body parts in boiling water.’

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You sure call it as it is! I like this format a lot!


Blog Archive