Teens and toddlers developmentally the same, expert says

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  • keyboarder College Station, TX
    April 7, 2019 12:39 p.m.

    From Van Antwerp: "Would you hand a civilian a gun and tell them to go down to the end of the street and enforce the law?"

    What's the metaphor trying to say? I doubt that it means every civilian should be trained to use a gun and enforce the law. Instead, the metaphor implies that specialists (i.e. police) should enforce the law. Now apply that to teachers... she implies that they are supposed to be trained as experts in the field of developmental psychology... that teachers are to be the ones who go to the end of street?!?!

    Having more understanding and education can often help anyone better handle different situations. But in a society of increasing complexity, we also realized that many efforts must be properly distributed to different people, each who has their own expertise. Thus, the metaphor backfires. Don't place more responsibility on our teachers to be the experts! Time is taken away and the level of stress is increased when teachers are assigned more responsibility to handle problematic situations. Instead, they should be like other "civilians" who can call on specialists (counselors, administrators, behavior interventionists) to handle special cases.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    April 1, 2019 10:33 a.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin - "When a kid is feeling bullied and pulls a gun in class, that's not the time to try to 'understand developmental behavior'...that's the time when action needs to be taken immediately."

    Actually that is past the time for action to have been taken. The action should have been taken against the bullies long before the kid being bullied pulls a gun to protect himself from the bullies. I say it again; every child has the right to self preservation; including when necessary using such force.

    If schools want to put a stop to the all the shooting that is happening in our nation; they will put a stop to the bullying! As it is, they give anti-bullying lip service; yet they still consistently protect the bully and punish the victim in 99.99% of all cases.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 31, 2019 10:25 a.m.

    Obviously teens and toddlers are not the same developmentally. And obviously teens are more responsible for their actions than toddlers.

    Is it good that we put so many people in prison? Yes that is something we need to take a look at.

  • El Gringo Mesa, AZ
    March 31, 2019 8:39 a.m.

    As a former junior high teacher, I had a few kids get expelled. One boy gave a gir some pills, that he said were Tylenol, that left the girl disoriented in the back gf my classroom. Another student behaved like a madman in every class. Another student was extremely disruptive and loved crawling around on the floor in the middle of class and bark like a dog. The dog student just thought it was funny. She didn’t have any mental issues that needed addressed. While the prefrontal cortex May be developing, and young people may make mistakes, some behavior is so bad that blaming the lack of brain development is asinine. Other behavior is so consistently disruptive that other children and teachers should not have to put up with it. Some kids come from difficult backgrounds and they act out for various reasons. If the kid refuses the help offered by teachers and school officials I have no problem sending the kid somewhere else. Maybe it’s not the best outcome for the one sent away, but it is much better for the rest.

  • Flipphone , 00
    March 31, 2019 8:32 a.m.

    Now we understand why teenagers are just over grown children.

  • belgie Tualatin, OR
    March 31, 2019 8:10 a.m.

    "developmentally, teens and toddlers are about at the same level"

    No way. Anyone who has ever dealt with toddlers and teenagers knows that this isn't true.

    As mentioned by others, teens certainly do stupid things, and are still wired to act before thinking, sometimes. But as adults, our stance toward them must be that they are responsible for their actions. And, as a parent and leader of teens, I promise you that they capable of acting responsibly.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    March 30, 2019 10:22 p.m.

    What has changed in the last 50 years?

    As little as we may know of the brain, we know a lot more than we did 50 years ago before MRIs were invented. Prospective teachers now spend far more time in college classes learning how to teach different styles of learners and how to assist special needs students than did their predecessors of the late 1950s who were then teaching 50 years ago. We have a lot better understanding and diagnosis of various developmental problems than we did 50 years ago. We have more and better drugs available to treat various mental illnesses.

    Violent crime is at 50 year lows. School shootings are as rare as they ever were, but get a lot more media coverage.

    So what is the problem?

    Is it "zero tolerance" policies that treat a picked on kid who finally punches the bully the same as they do the bully who started it all?

    Is it a an ever falling number of fathers in homes as unwed childbirth is far more common?

    Are parents failing to teach proper limits even as schools treat every misdeed as a capital offense rather than recognizing the differences between common youthful mistakes and serious crimes?

    What has changed from 50 years ago?

  • citygrrl SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 30, 2019 9:15 p.m.

    I understand the point about teens experiencing a developmental transition. After all, we were all teenagers and we remember how selfish and arrogant we were. I know I did some dumb things and I was pretty responsible.

    However, doesn't public safety come into play here? Are we supposed to allow teens free reign because their pre-frontal cortex is undeveloped? They can commit both violent/non-violent crimes just because they are still maturing?

    I don't think so. And before anyone responds that the system needs resources, Utah actually has a good juvenile court system to attempt to get kids back on track. I'd be in favor of extending that past age 18.

    Teens may be like toddlers in that they are developmentally maturing but few toddlers threaten public safely.

  • Cedarite Cedar City, UT
    March 30, 2019 2:14 p.m.

    Not buying it. I've heard a lot lately here in Utah about the virtues of not punishing acts of violence including murder and attempted terrorist acts committed by teens, etc. on this basis. I think most of us remember being a teen, and the "teens are never responsible no matter how heinous the act" argument doesn't fly, in part because the vast majority of us made it through our teenage years without doing violent or heinous things.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    March 30, 2019 1:58 p.m.

    "Our schools are turning into places where we criminalize children. We have school resource officers on campuses in the name of school safety, in the name of discipline. Rather, the emphasis, she said, needs should be in creating a "school climate" in which teachers, police and other adults are properly schooled in understanding developmental behavior."

    Wait a sec...hold the phone. While I agree that everyone needs to understand how the minds of children work (and don't work), that doesn't mean we don't need discipline and school resource officers.

    When a kid is feeling bullied and pulls a gun in class, that's not the time to try to "understand developmental behavior"...that's the time when action needs to be taken immediately.

    It's not an either/or thing. We need both understanding and discipline. And the good news is, we can! The two things are not mutually exclusive.