I have. Misunderstandings don't mean I don't read; it just means I'm wrong. I am often (from my PoV) wrong.
Actually, you made it sound like I claimed kids are retards (that's exactly your word), when I specifically said they weren't. From that I concluded you didn't read my entire post.
Said experience is gathered by making mistakes or hearing other people's stories. We don't protect adults against the former for some mysterious reason, and the latter can be done to children.
We do protect adults the same way. That's why we set legal limitations on certain forms of behaviour - driving is a nice example. That's why we have speed limits, right of way, parking regulations and all sorts of other things. We set written and unwritten rules for all sorts of things and a vast majority of them is intended for adults.
The age when development "ends", as was pointed out by another member (Traveler, IIRC, but I don't have time to check right now), is somewhere around 25. Why isn't AoC also 25? Because, way before then, people have learned enough from one another to make good decisions.
There are different stages of development at which people are capable of different things. We are capable of learning different things in different stages. This is a bit of an 'what use is half of an eye' type of an argument.
Most children don't make good decisions in life because parents don't teach them anything until they're old enough to have made the mistakes that would've been prevented by said information. Some children get lucky and don't make mistakes, whereas others are treated like human beings by their parents and given the information they require to make good decisions.
I fully agree with you that children should be treated as human beings, not little idiots. But according to findings of developmental psychology and biology I can't agree with your conclusion that children are automatically capable of acting the same way as adults if you treat them that way. Brains develop and change throughout life and are capable of processing information in different ways in different stages of life. Abstract and hypothetical thinking (both necessary to understand potential consequences of 'wrong' behaviour) don't even develop until early adolescence.
The reference frame is not biological. You can explain to a child what sex is without getting into why people have sex, because it's not essential to said explanation.
Understanding the reference frame is
biological. Until your brain is capable of grasping certain concepts you simply won't understand them, regardless of the amount of information you receive.
Yes. Why is the reason for an act relevant to understand what the act itself is? Do you need to understand why a murderer killed people in order to understand how it happened?
How and why are two completely different questions. You can describe an act to a child, but until he understands the reasons for it, he won't be able to fully comprehend it.
I could teach you particle physics since you started to speak, and it would take its time, but time is simply necessary because actions take time, and so does understanding. It's not a correlation; it's an effect.
Actually, you couldn't. Before a person's brain is sufficiently developed to grasp theoretical concepts like particle physics, he'll just parrot the words back to you but won't be able to use the knowledge. The same goes for a lot simpler concepts than particle physics. I also don't understand how time can be an effect in teaching. It's a prerequisite.
What's your point? I know the basics of particle physics, and I can't use it either. It's because of what particle physics is. I also know biology and psychology, for example, but I can use that information because they deal with things I can perceive.
But you're at a developmental stage at which you can
perceive those things and therefore understand them. Could you have understood them when you were four?
Again, you didn't read what I wrote - I specifically mentioned that certain knowledge acquired at an inappropriate age can not be used even given an opportunity
to use it. Children at a certain age have problems grasping metaphors, similes and other figures of speech. They gain the capability to do that at certain points in their development.
Ah, but here's the big question - is a person's mental state determined by their physical age or by the actions of those around them? I vote for the latter being a bigger influence than the former because I know how the actions of others affect people. I also know of several cases (anecdotal evidence; dunno if you count this as "regular" evidence) where children are taught things that other children aren't, and they do just fine with that. There are children whose knowledge surpasses what I knew at the time, and even their vocabulary is better than my own. In my mother tongue, no less!
A person's mental state is determined by their age (plus/minus a year or two) in optimal conditions. As I have mentioned more than once, we are talking about the majority of people, not the flappy ends of the bell curve. The mere existence kids who are more (or less) advanced for their age compared to most (due to biological and/or environmental factors) doesn't prove your point.
I also don't remember claiming that you shouldn't present children with information or that teaching them anything could be harmful. Of course kids will to fine with being taught things. But that doesn't mean they'll fully understand what they're being taught. A vocabulary is not a sign of real knowledge. It's just an ability to store and retrieve words and use them in contexts that we see fit - and not even necessarily the right context either.
Considering that those people just happen to have been taught "complex" things from birth means you can apply the same criteria on all.
So people who simply have a lower (or even normal) IQ should be considered the same as people with exceptionally high IQ, simply because they haven't been taught enough? Children within one single family who are taught exactly the same things can differ vastly in that respect.
I'd like to use anecdotal evidence as well, if you don't mind. We have a set of twins in our family. And they had two other sets of twins in their kindergarten class. Now, our kids were treated exactly the same - there was not particular reason why they wouldn't be. One is a musical genius, highly analytical and logical, maths and physics wiz, the other is a bookworm with an amazing vocabulary that never ceases to amaze me, but doesn't particularly like numbers. Granted, the first is a boy and the other a girl, but nonetheless.
The other set of identical twins in their kindergarten class, two boys, are kids of two doctors (a psychiatrist and an gynecological oncologist). They started learning English and German at age three, they went to music school at age four. Their parents, dead set on shaping their kids into geniuses, were teaching them all sorts of things. They're both as average as they come. They're not doing all that well in English and German in school and they're not accomplished musicians either. But the funniest is the third set of twins, fraternal, but both girls. Their parents are 'ordinary' people, not exceptionally intelligent, not even university graduates, just simply average. The first girl started university at 16, because she finished high school in two years, instead of four, and the other is starting medical school this fall.
Nature versus nurture debate is still live and well and the battle between psychologists and neuroscientists, geneticists and biologists rages on, but they all agree that both factors (and the third, biology) have an impact on human development. Again, most people are what we'd call 'normal' or 'average'. They learn certain things at approximately the same age, which means their development takes a fairly predictable course. A smaller percentage of people are more advanced and some lag behind.
And I disagree. Treat kids in a certain way, and they'll act in a certain way.
I actually disagree. Some abused kids do well later on in life. Some don't. Some well-loved kids will grow up to be abusers and some abused kids will end up being anything but abusive. And vice versa. Some kids respond to kindness, others respond better to punishment. There are kids who will take your explanation on why something is wrong at face value, others will demand endless explanations and end up doing the opposite. We all react differently to the same stimuli.
So, some kids who are sexually, physically and/or emotionally abused grow up into stable, well-rounded and non-abusive adults. Should we therefore treat all those, who do bear the scars of their abuse later on in life, the same as those who don't? Some kids excel when being pushed intellectually, most don't do all that well under such pressure. Should we also treat all of them the same way? And since we're talking about age of consent - some kids are capable of remembering to use a condom when having sex at age 12, because they're capable of understanding potential dangers of having unprotected sex. Most aren't.
Should they be treated the same?
Is that so? I was unaware of that. I thought that (some) children grew up to become abusers themselves, just like (some) adult abuse victims grew up to be aggressive and abusive themselves. My mistake.
And here you're contradicting yourself. Yes, some
kids grow up to be abusers. Some don't. If you were in charge of making laws, meant to protect people, would you be willing to take a risk like that? That only some abused kids grow up to become abusers? That only some rape victims end up committing suicide or hurting their assailants?
Now, to conclude this thread (for good; I don't have the luxury of taking such long breaks from my studying every time you think I'm dodging), I'd like to present a few cases I know of as evidence for my claim that, if you treat children like retards, they'll behave like retards.
You don't have to reply to anything here. Nobody is forcing you. And you don't have the power to end this thread. The debate will go on for as long as it will, whether you participate in it or not.
Again - I do agree that children aren't retards and should not be treated as such. I believe that the concept of neuroplasticity
proves my point rather nicely.
First case is my dad's. He was raised by an "excellent" father who wanted him to get a job ASAP. My dad finished the fourth grade, probably tried to go all the way to 9th grade, dropped out, and joined the army some time after that. He was raised like an idiot, and so he became an idiot.
Second case is my friend's. She was raised by her mother to go to school, do her homework, et cetera. Right now she's on her way to be fluent in several languages. She was raised like a smart person, and so she became a smart person.
Third case is another friend of mine. He was raised to be a smart person, and so he became a smart person. He was even able to let go of his deep-seated homophobia that had resulted from an extremely religious upbringing. Right now he's on his way to getting his first boyfriend.
These are all various people from various backgrounds. While this is "just" anecdotal evidence, anecdotes are all I have at the moment, and they're all you're gonna get.
And I have pointed out other cases in my life. And, yes, those are 'just' anecdotal cases, but mine prove you wrong. Which just goes to show that anecdotal evidence can go either way.
You also inadvertently proved my point. Children are impressionable and malleable. You can 'teach' or convince them to believe just about anything. Which means you can also persuade them to do things that are bad for them, like having sex. Who is easier to trick into having sex - a 12-year old or a 20-year old? Who is more likely to be game for something stupid, like burning a huge pile of leaves right in front of the house (even if they actually possess the information that it's a bad idea and even why), a 6-year old or an 18-year old? Why are there so many accidents in kids who were told (even with full explanations) why something is wrong? Just because you do explain something and even have the child repeat the explanation, doesn't mean it's actually understood the way you think.
People you mentioned were 'convinced' that what they were supposed to do is also the right thing to do. In case of the last friend, he learned that some things he thought were right, actually weren't, and he was smart enough to change his mind. But he had to learn to overcome his religious upbringing. And the way you describe him it also seems he was religious when he was a child. Why was that? And why did he change his mind? Would that have something to do with his capability to understand the world in a different way?
Anyway, why aren't you an idiot if your father is?