ERIC BRAVERMAN: Teenagers have an adult body and a child's brain. They just don't develop working memory and logic and planning and reasoning until they're about 17 years old.Is this true? Do kids not develop basic reasoning, planning and the like until they are 17? I find this very difficult to agree with. I mean, if a kid can learn to play Super Mario Sunshine and not only advance throughout the intricate levels within the game but master it and then beat the game altogether, then I think they can figure out how to do homework, wash a dish, or mow the lawn, or take out the garbage and be able to do it daily without being told to do it several times. Am I wrong here?
My son at 3 years old knows not to touch the oven because it can burn him, "too hot daddy, don't touch" he says. I might ad that he has never touched the stove, nor has he set foot into the kitchen without my supervision, yet from my clear and sturn instructions he knows not to touch it. I've personally witnessed him figure out how to stand on a stool to reach the light switch, or a favorite toy off of the shelf as well as stop right at the edge of a jungle gym platform apparently knowing that he may fall...planning? reasoning?
One point made that I do agree with is when Braverman referred to all of the distractions of today affecting the memory or "brain power" of these kids. I agree with that sentiment, video games, t.v., etc. seem to only sap the brain power out of our youth and causes a great deal of distraction and attention problems. I've seen this first hand with my own kids. This is where the parents need to step in and regulate such activity. Balance it out with reading, writing excorcises and family games. For me, I eliminated video game playing during the week and Saturday. Every Saturday me and my two boys spend the day first reading a good book, either together or separately, I may even have my older son do a book report on whatever he reads. We then spend the remainder of the day at the park. We close out the evening with either more reading or a game or we may watch a movie together as well. During the week its homework for him and for the younger one, learning time (i.e. alphabets, numbers, reading, maybe some games). As for television watching, one hour devoted to Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune during the week, out here in Ca. they come on back to back, Jeopardy is the favorite in my house! Then its bed time. A typical week, doesn't always work out that perfect but I believe it makes a difference. I've noticed a greater level of concentration and apprehension when they read.
Like I said, I agree with the points about distractions but Braverman sounds like he is making excuses for the lack of good parenting and slothful behavior from teens, rather than actually giving any real solutions to these problems by addressing the actual causes.
More about kids, this time bullies and bills: Michael the Archangel blogs about a new school code against bullying that seems to really spell out something that should be obvious to every other clear thinking human being on this planet. Yet, for some reason school officials feel they have to include "All" of these discriptions to be fair I suppose.
Paul Jacob of limitedgov.org comments here about the lower house of Texas's legislature passing a bill banning "sexually suggestive" routines by pep squads at high school events, can we say going a bit too far with the legistlating morality bit!? What will be next, passing a bill banning chewing gum in school classrooms? This is why schools need to be privatized, let the people govern themselves while the government do its real job, like protect our borders from terrorists, gangs and drug-runners. Sounds like somebody needs something to do up in Texas.
05/24/05 Even More About Kids: Lashawn Barber links to a Foxnews.com article about Lionel Tate who around 6 years ago killed a 6-year-old Tiffany Eunick by jumping on top of her from a stair case. He was tried and convicted and plead guilty to murder but only served 3 years and was put on house arrest for a year and a 10 year probation period followed. Apparently he has struck again, pulling a gun on a pizza delivery guy when he arrived at the door of a friends apartment. Amazing!