Sunday, February 14, 2010

Warning to parents: Teenagers should be in bed by 9pm

Late night sport has landed a Perth teenager in trouble:

Police have charged a 15-year-old Thornlie youth with throwing bottles from a highway overpass.

Police on patrol at 1.55am this morning saw a young male throwing bottles from the overpass at the intersection of Roe Hwy and Spencer Rd.

The vast majority of teenagers, needing their sleep, cannot function in the middle of the night and should have, by this time of the morning, been tightly tucked into their snug little beds, as argued by tennis sensation Bernard Tomic:

Teenage prodigy Bernard Tomic has taken aim at Australian Open organisers after battling into the early hours of Thursday morning, where he lost gallantly in five sets.

The 17-year-old wildcard silenced a string of critics and bookmakers when he took Croatian Marin Cilic, the 14th seed, to the edge but ultimately lost 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

A match that lasted almost four hours ended after 2:10am (AEDT) after starting about 10:20pm the previous night.

Tomic complained of feeling tired after the match and blamed tournament officials for poor scheduling.

A paediatric sleep expert agrees:

Medically speaking, and when you look at sleep physiology, he's absolutely right, because a 17-year-old playing at two o'clock in the morning is a whole lot more tired than even a 19-year-old or an older person," he said.

Now that's because teenagers are more affected by sleep loss, so if you say everyone playing tennis at two o'clock in the morning at that level will be more tired than at nine o'clock in the morning, that's true, but he would be more tired in general as a 17-year-old, and he would be a whole lot more tired.

When you think about the science of it, he's actually correct, and at that level of tennis and elite sport a little bit of compromise between one player and the opponent can mean a big difference in the outcome.

So we'll likely hear that this sleep-deprived bottle-thrower had no idea what he was doing and that parents/guardians/care-givers are to blame for not putting the little fellow to bed at an appropriate hour. On the other hand it's likely the adults nominally in charge of this teenager were either drunk or drugged and might not even be aware they have a child they should be taking care of. Life was much simpler when personal responsibility applied to personal actions.

Update: Sleep deprived kiddies were in action in New South Wales overnight:

Fifteen people were arrested after rocks were allegedly thrown at police and a patrol car set alight at a party being held in an industrial complex at Yamba.

Thirteen of those have been so far been charged over the incident.

Police had gone to the party in response to a noise complaint from nearby residents around 11:00pm (AEDT) on Saturday

Eight of the 13 arrested and charged at 2:30am are juveniles. These unfortunate kiddies should have been at home in bed.


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