Reckless Teens Are More Mature -- What?!

Cynthia Dermody
6

teens driving in a convertibleIf the report I read recently on Time.com is correct, parents of teens who do dumb stuff like drink, speed, have sex, and other reckless activities have at least one thing to be happy about.

Their kids are so mature! You read me right. Not immature, like everyone once thought. Very mature.

Which means those phrases you use constantly like, "What's that stupid kid done now?" and "Stop acting like an idiot!" are blatantly false and you should stop saying them.

[Okay, here comes the academic reasoning] Scientists armed with brain scanners found that reckless kids have more white space in their craniums than their more cautious, obedient peers. White space is the wiring, the neurons that hold everything together and help speed up the processing potential.

The authors say that "some risk-taking among adolescents is evidence that they are trying out more adult-like roles. Having unsafe sex and driving too fast may be mistakes, but kids often have to experiment with limits in order to learn how to live within them."

Another theory: "Teenagers whose brains develop more quickly than others become uncomfortable with the gap between their biological capabilities and the social rules they must follow as kids, spurring some to seek out new and potentially harmful experiences."

Do you find this to be true with your own tweens and teens? Can you ferret out your child's maturity among all the risky behaviors?


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