Earlier this week, I wrote about the tragic story of the 14-yo girl at our local middle school who died while huffing. I’ve been following the story over the week, and reading the comments on the various articles. The trolls out there are having a field day, going on and on about how this girl couldn’t be smart because she did this, how she must have been doing huffing regularly, and so on. They are forgetting something very important — something every parent must understand.
Smarts has nothing to do with it.
Your child may be smart. They may be a straight-A student, on the honors role. They may be taking on more and more adult responsibilities. But this doesn’t mean they are mature, and that they have the capability to make reasoned decisions about risk. The human brain changes significantly after age 18; in fact, many parts of the brain dealing with decision making don’t mature until age 25. Although your youngster could have all the facts, this immaturity can lead to the wrong decision being made. Youth (for lack of a better term) views itself as invincible — I won’t get into a car accident, I won’t be hurt by this dangerous action. Even if they know the risks, it simply doesn’t not occur to them that the problem can happen to them.
This immaturity is the reason that young people post compromising pictures and sext, even though they know the eventual dangers. This is the reason teen drivers are so dangerous, while believing they are great drivers. This is the reason students wander the steam tunnels at UCLA hopped up on codeine. Wait, did I say that?
Think back to your high school years. Even though I know you are smart, I’m bet that you can think of at least one or two stupid things you did.
Poor Aria was very smart. The problem is that she wasn’t mature enough to make the correct decision at her age. In her memory, please remember this distinction. Smarts are not wisdom.
Music: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy): “Minnie The Moocher”