I wouldn’t care if my 16-year-old daughter were the best swimmer this side of the Mississippi. I wouldn’t let her swim the English Channel. It’s dangerous.
I wouldn’t care if my 16-year-old daughter were the greatest skate boarder on Venice Beach. I wouldn’t let her skateboard up Broadway, with or without a helmet. It’s dangerous.
I wouldn’t care if my 16-year-old daughter were a wonderful driver. I wouldn’t let her drive across the United States alone. It’s dangerous.
And I wouldn’t care if my 16-year-old daughter started sailing when she was a week old and loved sailing more than life. I wouldn’t let her risk her life by sailing around the world alone.
If Abby Sunderland had succeeded in sailing around the world solo (she’s the California girl who was recently rescued by a French fishing boat when her sailing boat became disabled in the Indian Ocean), I wouldn’t think of her as a hero. I’d think she was damn lucky to be alive.
Scientific studies of the brain reveal that adult brains can plan, reason, judge and control impulses (considered “higher” functions) better than teenage brains. I acknowledge that while many teenagers have higher IQs than their parents, their EQs typically lag behind.