Now that I have my first teenager I've been thinking a lot about how the frontal cortex is not fully developed until around the age of 25. (This was from that fantastic lecture series by Robert Sapolsky from The Teaching Company - "Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality, 2nd Edition." Again, I highly recommend this course!)
I was thinking about coming up with a contract with my kids to sign, maybe when they start high school, or perhaps when they go off to college. Here's what I was thinking of including:
- Don't get married before 25.
- Don't have a kid before 25.
- Don't get a tattoo before 25.
- Don't get a credit card before 25.
- Do call us if you're ever in trouble.
- Never drive under the influence or ride with anyone under the influence.
- Always wear your seat belt or helmet.
- Always use protection no matter what the other person says.
Hmm. Maybe this is getting a bit long. And kids need to be able to make some of their own mistakes. I'm just trying to figure out how to minimize the possibility of the biggest ones.
I need to mull it over a bit more. I've got another year and a half before my oldest heads off to high school. Probably the best next step is to work on what it should contain together and see if he has any ideas and if he has any questions about what I already put on the list.
Ah, the grand experiment, parenthood. In 20 years I'll let you know if this made any difference. And even then I probably won't be able to be certain. :)
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