If we understand the truth about the teenage brain, then we might just begin to remember the truth about our own teenage years – the worry, the angst, the self-doubt.
The fact is that different, fascinating and significant things are happening and whilst your own parents might well have blamed your hormones, we now know that we need to look much further than hormones to explain teenage behaviour.
The teenage brain is still very much work in progress, like a giant construction project, it is in a state of flux, maddening and muddled, which is exactly how it’s supposed to be. Normal teen brain evolution includes moments of mayhem, as well as growing precision and passion because, put simply, the brain of the adolescent is still growing. The frontal lobes, responsible for planning ahead, resisting impulses and ‘doing the right thing’ are, perhaps unsurprisingly, the last part of the brain to mature and there’s good reason why parents sometimes need to step in and be their teen’s pre-frontal cortex.
Whilst parents need to respect and recognise their teenager’s need for autonomy, there WILL be times when you need to step in and point their ever-growing feet down the right path. Combine the neuroscience with the stress and pressures of 21st Century living plus the perils of a shared life online, and it perhaps shouldn’t surprise us that many of our young people are struggling to navigate this crucial stage in their lives.
As the teenage brain is reconfigured, it remains more exposed, more easily wounded and more susceptible to critical and long-lasting damage than ever. Adolescence may be one of the worst times to expose a brain to drugs and alcohol and throw into that a lack of sleep and you just might have a very damaging cocktail indeed…
To gain the facts and learn more #jointhehuddl and come to the Huddl Parent Talk on Tuesday 10th October at Trinity Park. I will share both wisdom and real-life experience to explain what’s going on, how to help, manage and stay sane during this challenging but crucial time in your child’s life.