Thursday, September 06, 2007

Listen to the Kids

Why is it, when trying to solve a problem that involves teenagers, we try every strategy except actually paying attention to them? Kids, too.

Sure, give seriously depressed teens anti-depressants, but monitor them, too. Talk therapy. Effective combination. Is that really so hard? Better yet, get schools and parents and doctors to pay enough attention to their kids that they notice depression before it gets that bad. It's not a disease that shows up over night. (Usually.)

Same thing goes for educational reform. Why do kids do badly in school? Because they hate school. It's really that simple. The system doesn't work for them, they don't do well, they don't see what the point is. Make it relevant, stop warehousing kids, and they'll do better.

This is hard. It's hard to take teenagers seriously, to take kids seriously. They're obnoxious, think they know-it-all, can't properly articulate what their problems are. But they've been there, man. They know what their problems are.

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