An outbreak of post-lockdown teenage mayhem? I’m thrilled to see it

An outbreak of post-lockdown teenage mayhem? I’m thrilled to see it

The Guardian

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Kids are reacclimatising, like the rest of us. After a year of boring responsibility, I’m delighted to read reports of them getting stuck in swings and swearing in parks

I’m not sure what qualifies as a “spate” (is there official guidance?), but there has been a spate-adjacent number of incidents of teenagers getting stuck in baby swings in York recently, solemnly reported in the local paper. The fire brigade “released the teenager and gave advice”, says one report, the advice presumably being: “Do not sit in a baby swing.”

I’m delighted by these incidents and what they represent: teenagers being teenagers and doing stupid stuff. There are neurological explanations for teenage silliness: the late maturing of the connections between the prefrontal cortex (involved in regulating decision-making and self-control) and other parts of the brain skews their perception of risk. Sometimes, that means eating detergent pods, duct-taping a friend to a tree or worse; more often it involves the kind of cheery, universal daftness typified by wedging yourself into a tiny swing.

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