Development

?? - posted on 07/04/2009 ( 25 moms have responded )

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This might take a bit to explain so stick with me please! And if I don't make sense, please ask questions!



I've read quite a few posts around and about on this CoM site and one of the major "discussions" (and I use that word very loosely) is about when babies have developed enough for this or that or the other thing... which, makes sense really. There are general times when a childs body/brain develop and we know generally that it takes 6 months for a babies belly to be REALLY ready for solids, we know generally it takes 12-24 months for babies brains to REALLY start grasping yes/no right/wrong, we know generally it takes 5-6 years for babies brains to develop enough to be able to read and write proper sentances, we know generally it takes 11+ years for a lil girls body to develop enough to where she gets her period AND there are ALWAYS exceptions where some babies learn faster develop faster OR slower!



No those are not exact scientific ages and behaviours they are examples of the average that in my own personal experience seem to be pretty accurate.



NOW what got me thinking - I just read someone (in the 16's year old and sex thread) say that a 16 year olds brain is not developed enough to understand the consiquences of their actions there for should not be having sex.



Where is that information coming from?!?!?! A 16 year old is legally allowd to drive, is legally allowd to choose whether or not they want to go to school or live at home... BUT their brains are not developed enough to understand consiquences of their actions?!?!



In the tattoo/piercing thread earlier, I said that I would allow my son at 14 years old to get a tattoo if it really had meaning and he was emotionally/mentally able to really put thought and meaning into what he was doing. It was said that at 14 he can't make that decision because he can't possibly be ready to make such a permanent decision, and it is my responsibility to protect him from himself.



So... at 14 a child is capable of undertaking education, sports, friends, all while learning about, resisting and testing the boundaries of bullying, sex, alcohol, drugs, gangs/cliques and other decisions that can leave permanent markings on their life/personalities. And at 16, a child can drive, leave home, sort out college/university, hold a part time job, as well as deal with the previously mentioned things............. BUT - their brains are not developed enough - to understand the consiquences of their actions?????? Can someone PLEASE explain this to me so that I understand!!!??



I would like to add that in Canada - at 11 years old, a child can tell their parent that they do not want to go to school anymore and that parent has no legal right to send that child to school as well, at 14 years old, a child can leave their parents home and choose somewhere else to live and as long as that home is safe, a parent has no legal right to remove that child from that home And in both scenarios - the parents are legally obligated to be responsible for that childs well being, physical care and any financial means that that child needs.



BUT at 16 years old, they do not have the brain development that allows them to know the consiquence of any of their choices?? I don't buy it.

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[deleted account]

I think what the study is saying is that at 16 you can conceptually understand what may result from your action.. . such as if I have sex I could get pregnant or if I steal a car I will go to jail. But at 16 you are not able to fully appreciate and understand the long-term impact of that action. Such as if I get pregnant, I may not be able to go to college, may not be able to travel, may be a single parent. etc. . ..you've heard these things and conceptually understand they could happen but not in your world . there's no thought beyond the 16 y/o egocentric self. And that's due to lack of complete brain development. at 16 one may understand they may go to jail. But there is not a full understanding of length of time, impact of future life. It's all isolated thought, not enough synapses to pull the entire picture together. This doesn't mean that a 16 year old can't drive. Driving doesn't require future thought perse. Merely here's the gas, brake and off you go. However, this same report supports why teenagers are in more accidents. They can't fully appreicate and understand the consequences of speeding (or other erratic driving behavior). There is no future thought. Sure,they may think I could get into an accident but the brain isn't developed enough for them to fully appreciate the consequences of that accident. The pain, the hospital, and God forbid any death that may result. They know it could happen, but just don't link the current action to future result. I'm not saying that they don't know, just that the abiltity to rationally think about the action is not developed. How many things did you do when you were 16 that you knew were right/wrong could cause bodily harm but you did them anyway. You knew the possible result. . but didn't appreciate that result until now. Now you see it because that part of your brain is developed. . and I'm sure if put in the same situation, at current age, you would have done things differently. I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself clearly. I don't think I am. Oh well. . . .

[deleted account]

PS. I used to be 16. I am speaking from personal experience of being young and nieve and not any study. And who really wants to go to school when they are 11? I didn't. Sometimes children don't know everything and they still need guidelines and intervention from parents/the law to stop them making bad choices.

[deleted account]

At 16 people don't know who they are most of the time or what they want out of life. Instead of talking about education for this and that we should be teaching teenagers to have self confidence and ignore peer pressure. They need to learn about self respect. And most are to young to deal with the side effects of their actions such as babies and STDs.

Esther - posted on 07/09/2009

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Pfew - My faith in Canada has been restored ;) I actually love Canada. I have an aunt & cousins in Don Mills (outside of Toronto) and I used to visit them there all the time. My entire life I have wanted to live there, but I ended up a little further south near New York. Still pretty good ;)

?? - posted on 07/08/2009

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It must be by province then Amie because here in BC my best friends sister (14 years old) ran away from home 2 months ago and there was absolutely nothing her mom could do about it. She was in a place that the police deemed "safe" so they couldn't make her go back to her moms house. At 14 she is considered "the age of consent" which meant she is allowd to choose where she wants to live as well as whether she wants to get a job. She could't live alone though - unless she was legally emancipated - she would have to live with another family in a home that the authorities consider to be a safe and healthy enviroment. Not to mention the other implications behind "the age of consent" sex being one of the things there could be no legal recourse against.



I should have been a lil more clear with the 11 year olds and school - if your child says they don't want to go to school, you must put them in a different school or homeschool. They are allowd to choose which school they would like to be in - not that they don't have to go to school at all. Sorry about being unclear about that :(

Amie - posted on 07/08/2009

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I just wanted to post. In Canada, depends on the province maybe, but here your child must attend school (whether it be public, private or home) until they are 16. It is the parents legal obligation to make sure they get it. If your child is not getting it or has poor attendance local authorities can investigate you.
Also they can not leave the home to live else where alone until 16. I know that one from personal experience. Under 16 the cops will drag your ass home, 16 and above they will do nothing but encourage you to go home.

Esther - posted on 07/07/2009

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Quoting Jo Lee:

I would like to add that in Canada - at 11 years old, a child can tell their parent that they do not want to go to school anymore and that parent has no legal right to send that child to school as well, at 14 years old, a child can leave their parents home and choose somewhere else to live and as long as that home is safe, a parent has no legal right to remove that child from that home And in both scenarios - the parents are legally obligated to be responsible for that childs well being, physical care and any financial means that that child needs.


Wow - remind me to never move to Canada with my son.

Ez - posted on 07/07/2009

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Quoting Megan:

We are given the privilege of being "children" longer in our society than in others.... and i am grateful for that. I



Me too!! I think it IS a privelege to avoid the grief and dramas that adulthood (and adult relationships) can often entail. No teenager in the world will believe you when you tell them they've got it easy, why mess it up?? - but that's how I see it. Like I said in my other post, I had sex at 16 and don't necessarily regret it - I just wish I could've enjoyed those last couple of years of school without worrying about the cheating, rejection, rumours and pregnancy scares (all of which happened).




Teenagers are going to have sex, and it doesn't make them stupid or ill-informed (though some definitely are). What it makes them is too eager to grow up.

I definitely was.

Mel - posted on 07/07/2009

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i agree with you , at 16 most women are ready for sex. i know i was. yes not as mature as what they will be at 20, but at 20 they will nto be as mature as when they are 40 either. so age doesnt really come into it. i was ready for a child at 16 if i had a baby then i would have been the same kind of mother i am now, at 20 with a 15 month old. my dream was always to be a mum so i dont think age comes into it with anything, its whether you yourself are mature enough and ready and capable to do something

Megan - posted on 07/05/2009

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I started having sex at 14, and i got pregnant... and had a miscarriage, which was a blessing in disguise. I KNEW I could get pregnant, and it was a risk I took. But I hadn't experienced adulthood , so I was not fully aware of the consequences of my actions beyond "having a baby" I didn't realize all the responsibility that entailed. Could I and would I have done it- yes. Was I even close to being ready- no! In OUR SOCIETY we are not prepared to be adults until we are nearly adults. I think if we were expected to get married and have kids at 15-16... we would be prepared by then and could do it. We are given the privilege of being "children" longer in our society than in others.... and i am grateful for that. I know that I was WAY more mature at 16 than I was at 14... and 12. Those are the years we become adults, and I KNEW a lot of things at those ages, and I knew the consequences of my actions, however life experience provides us with the ability to make better informed decisions. At 16 I wanted a tattoo... and I knew it was permanent. The design I wanted was not something I would HATE today, but I have so much more that I love now that I would rather have on my body. I dont think 16 year olds are incapable of making good descisions.... but 18, 19 , 20 year olds may make even better ones!

Lindsay - posted on 07/05/2009

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When I was 16, I was fully aware of any consequenses that could come from my actions. Whether it be sex, drinking, staying out past curfew, smoking, etc. you know all the many things that could result from it. Does that mean you always make the best choices? Of course not but that never changes in life! In my opinion, reguardless of age, you will be faced with deciding what to do. I would like to think I make good choices but every now and then you just have to have fun and be carefree! At 16, you may be more willing to take a risk than when you are older but you definately know what could happen if things don't go as planned!

Jocelyn - posted on 07/05/2009

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Quoting Erin:
What magically happens in those two years that makes it suddenly ok??


as i've heard, some magical sex fairy comes down to you on your 18th birthday and blesses you will all the wisdom in the world. :) LOL

Ez - posted on 07/05/2009

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As Joy said, it is true that our brain's don't reach full maturity until our 20's. But as with everything this is based on an average. I had sex at 16, didn't put a huge amount of thought into it but still knew exactly what I was doing. I wish I had waited only because I've gone through enough drama with men as an adult without having started so young. I think 16 year olds can understand the consequences (pregnancy, STD, backlash from parents etc) but I wonder if they are prepared for the emotional ramifications of a sexual relationship (possible rejection, embarrassment if people find out etc). I'm sure a lot are, and I guess it's our role as parents to help in that emotional development. I just feel like with sex often comes drama (especially with teenagers) and I'd rather my Milla wait til she's a bit older before having to deal with that.
But the argument going on the other thread that having sex at 16 is too young for EVERYONE but 18 is fine for EVERYONE is idiotic. What magically happens in those two years that makes it suddenly ok??

Sarah - posted on 07/05/2009

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I had sex at 16 (the legal age of consent here) i knew exactly what i doing (well, in a consequences way...i didn't really know what i DOING, if that makes sense! lol!)
I think as long as people are educated then it shouldn't be a problem.
I think most 16yr olds know right from wrong and realise what they are doing....not all....but a lot of them.
I hope when my girls are 16 (noooooooo!) they will be able to make decisions like that because i will have taught them well (to not do it!! haha!)
People know their own kids (hopefully!) you should be able to teach them to make good decisions....the majority of the time! :)

Amie - posted on 07/05/2009

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Well since I have a 16 yr old sister who recently started having sex I can say that she knows what she's doing. She understand the consequences, she made an informed decision. She did so with the help of our mother and myself. Our mom still doesn't know either. My sister has chosen now to wait until after my wedding to tell her. (why I haven't posted on my thread about that topic again yet haha.) Even with all the info and her going about it in a smart way we still know mom's gonna lose it to some degree. I think it boils down to some parents forget what they were like fully at that age and as much as we'd like to think of them as kids they are getting to be pretty smart! Some of them anyway, for every group there are the stupid ones. Even as adults. LOL!

?? - posted on 07/04/2009

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Quoting Jocelyn:

now there are always exceptions (like a 16 yr old with a mental handicap of some sorts) but speaking about the general 16 yr olds, the women who say that 16yr olds aren't developed enough to do this or that, are not informed about today's youth (or just don't want to have to think about it in "real-life" terms.



The woman I got the idea for this thread from, in nearly every post I've read of hers, she goes on about her daycare and how she takes care of other people's kids and that she has a special needs child and she has a teenage step-daughter - she posts links in nearly every post to "backup" what she is saying and I have yet to see a post from her that isn't berating or condicending ............ I guess it just really bothers me cause after she posted that crap... people agree with her!!!



I don't understand how anyone can figure a 16 year old doesn't understand consiquences, action/reaction, right/wrong - let alonewant to let other people know they think that - and theneven more so, other people agreeing...



It makes me sad for those people's children really... the expectations of those children to "stay young" or not do those things is going to be so intense with a mom with that mindframe that when they do those things, they won't be able to share with their parent.... they'll be too worried about being looked down upon or belittled because of their choice :(

Jocelyn - posted on 07/04/2009

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Quoting Jennifer:

i seriously wonder some of the time if i'm mature enough for motherhood! :)


oh me too!



i love tater-tots, and i play with those webkins creatures.  haha young at heart!

Jenni - posted on 07/04/2009

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i seriously wonder some of the time if i'm mature enough for motherhood! :)

Jocelyn - posted on 07/04/2009

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i don't buy it either. at 16 kids TOTALLY know the consequences of their actions. i know that when i started having sex (at 15) that yes i could get preg, or a disease, i knew that i needed to figure out which college to go to, i started learning to drive, and at 15 i also became a vegetarian. i also knew that if i get in this stolen car, i could get arrested (based on experience lol, long story, i wasn't the one that stole it!) and i also had a job. i also have friends, who at 16, moved out on their own, continued to go to school and worked. (and i have one friend who had a baby at 15, and still went to school!) my sister was 14 when she started having sex, but she knew the consequences as well, and protected her self with the pill and condoms. at 14 she knew what she wanted to do with her life, and now she in in her 2nd year of university to become the dance teacher she always wanted to be.
now there are always exceptions (like a 16 yr old with a mental handicap of some sorts) but speaking about the general 16 yr olds, the women who say that 16yr olds aren't developed enough to do this or that, are not informed about today's youth (or just don't want to have to think about it in "real-life" terms.

[deleted account]

When I was pregnant we took a childbirth class. We learned that the human brain isn't fully developed until a person reaches approximately age 20. Basically, it's the finishing touches so to speak, that the brain is still completing up until age 20. But this does not mean that things like reason, right / wrong, etc. have not been established. Morals and values, right and wrong, the basics of them, have pretty much been set in all of us since around the age of 10, and is subject to change over time depending on our individual experiences. Even as adults, we generally know the right thing to do, but we still don't always do it. Now, that being said, not every 16 year old is ready to be a parent...but every 16 year old (except for kids who are mentally challenged in some way) is able to understand the whole concept of actions and consequences. The problem with 16 year olds is that they tend to follow their emotions and not their brains. If it was a matter of them being "smart" or "not so smart", you wouldn't see class valedectorians getting pregnant. Hormones take over and this isn't anything new.



I also don't like to get involved in the developmental conversations. It's that whole thing of "no baby is alike" yada yada yada. Moms (especially new moms) tend to think they are failing anyhow....and comparing your baby to someone else's is just adding fuel to that fire and making people think there's a problem when there isn't. My parenting style is so relaxed though. With everything, from feeding to his sleep schedules to when he took his first steps...I let HIM tell ME when he was ready. Every day of the past 20 months has been a learning adventure for both of us...a place neither of us has ever been before. We're winging it and doing ok so far. He's still alive and I still have all my hair. Well, my hair is growing back but that's another story.....lol



Anyways, I agree with you Jo, I don't buy it either.

Jenni - posted on 07/04/2009

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I am totally with you on this one Jo...

i NEVER get those convos about 'is my child developement normal for this age'? i've given up replying to those but when i did i would tell them how greatly developement can vary from child to child... i do understand in a way b/c i guess i would feel concerned too if i felt my child was 'behind' the curve... my neighbours 18 month old makes my kids look like neanderthals though! that kid is so advanced in language it blows my mind... and then i hear about kids his age who only say one word... you just can't compare ur child to another!!! some be more advanced in other areas... i've always heard if ur baby is working on crawling or walking at the time, his language skills are likely to be taking a back seat... there can be soooo many factors affecting a child's developement that it is just plain impossible to lump them into an age group! like you said... it is simply put into terms of an 'average'

and you pretty much said it all on the 'developement' of teens... i'll just add one thing... in many different cultures as well as in history... it was normal to be married by 12 or 14 and girls were having babies as soon as they reached womanhood... so i'm sure a 16 year olds mind is developed enuff to have children! but back then we use to only live to 27 so we had limited time to bear children... but still... point proven... it wasn't until recent history we started waiting longer to "grow up"... and most of the reason for that is b/c until recently women were expected to be baby machines and persuing education and careers were off the menu! i believe that's why we wait longer now than in past generations... and along with that comes the backlash of having children at a 'young' age...

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