Tom Blumer at BizzyBlog a href=”http://www.bizzyblog.com/2009/05/12/possible-discussion-thread-when-did-expressing-a-political-opinion-become-an-age-appropriate-risk/”had a couple of good questions/a after reading an article in span style=”font-style:italic;”Family Circle /span magazine recently: br /br /blockquoteI was more than a little surprised to see this quote I stumbled upon yesterday in a Family Circle Magazine (March 2009; free registration might be required) from a “Steve Schlozman, MD, a Harvard Medical School assistant professor of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital”:br /br /Adolescents need to know you trust them to make good decisions,” he says. “Your faith builds their confidence to take age-appropriate risks — ask someone out on a date, audition for the play, offer a political opinion.“br /br /Huh?br /br /The not-so-good Dr. Schlozman immediately follows with this absurd, dangerous, family-destructive statement which makes his credibility very, very suspect:br /br /Prying can also spur kids to act out. “Kids need to have a separate life their parents don’t know all about,” adds Dr. Schlozman.br /br /Really? Here’s a ditzy doc who says in essence that kids need to learn to be little sneaks to grow up well-adjusted. I hope that’s not typical family magazine advice, but I fear that it is.br /br /Back on point: Since when did the decision to express a political opinion, whether inside a classroom or not, become an “age-appropriate risk”? And what are the potentially bad consequences of taking such a risk?/blockquotebr /br /I’ll venture a guess and say the doctor in the article means that voicing a political opinion can be risky in that others may disagree with you and that is often difficult for a teenager who does not have a fully formed sense of self (I think some do, however). Teens probably have less of a sense of self these days as they are told what to do and think so often and have few critical thinking skills. br /br /Or perhaps people are so politicized these days that a political opinion is risky and does have bad consequences. For example, if a teen yelled, “I hate Bush” loudly in a classroom, my guess is that little would happen. Maybe Johnny would be told to “calm down.” If conversely, however, he yelled, “I hate Obama,” all hell would break loose. Johnny would be hauled off for counseling, maybe more drastic action would be taken. Maybe this is the risk the doctor in the article was talking about?