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Understanding Teenage Brain Development

By February 17, 2021No Comments

We have often heard about teenage behaviour as the most baffling, frustrating, moody and emotional. Everyone, including the doctors, parents, and teachers, has held the notion about why teenagers act so recklessly and emotional, and many of these explanations have turned out to be inaccurate.

It is believed that teenagers are impulsive due to their raging hormones and they dislike authority. It is a common belief that adults think with the prefrontal cortex, which is the rational part of the brain giving adults a good sense of judgment and also the awareness of long-term consequences. Whereas the teenager’s process information with the amygdala, which is the emotional part. Therefore the decision making is still developing.

Effective Parental Guidance

Teenagers have dynamic and hungry minds. They are creative, brave and curious about all the things happening around them. The only way to help them learn is to let them experiment beyond what they have always known. Parents can guide them with something powerful that can help them along the way. They can give them the information required to move their way ahead. There are times when teenagers are moody, frustrating and infuriating, but this can feel confusing for them as it does to us. They need to adapt to these changes in an adaptive way and for doing so they just require parents’ support to help them thrive.

Fast but Immature Brain

The teenage brain is always experimenting with the world in new and exciting ways, but because of its fine-tuning, it doesn’t have much of an ability to interpret situations and respond well as they’re not planning ahead. Their priorities are not very mature as they’re not planning ahead. The teenage brain development is often compared to a high-performance sports car – fast, powerful but without fully developed brakes.

Usual Behavioral Norms

At this particular stage of life, teenagers are open to new experiences and also their courage is at an all-time high. In the long run, this will broaden their capabilities enriching their experiences both in the short run; it might come with new perilous risks. It can also drive them towards good behaviours, such as any competitive activity, sports, and performing arts. It’s the role of the parent to decide between the good risks and bad risks, but as the teenage brain development is in the process it can look the same for them. There would be situations where they can overestimate the potential positives of a situation and underestimate the potential negatives. Therefore, it’s the role of parents to slow down the decision process as they had been there and done the same things.

The Importance of Being Connected

The teens are at an age of self-discovery and impulsive decision making, so it’s natural that they will start to cut ties. Teenagers feel the urge to become independent, but as we are living in a very complex world where there are stimulation and exposure, which arises from being online, parents do need to be vigilant, stay connected with their teenagers as well as giving them their free space. Parents should remember that just because they’re teenagers think differently, it doesn’t mean they are wrong. The more patient you are explaining why something is important the chances are more likely that you will be understood.

Sleep: The Teenage “Superpower”

During the teenage years, usually, the sleep pattern changes as the brain produces melatonin at a different time of the day. This keeps the teenagers awake for longer making it difficult for them to wake up the next morning. This time can be well utilized for reading, listening to music or studying. Also, if the brain is trying to figure out something, it’s better to give it a thought before going to sleep as the brain will get busy figuring it out while one sleeps.

No Worries About What People Think

During the process of teenage brain development, there is one factor in what others might think. The main reason for this is a teenager’s brain is strongly wired to connect with peers, which is why the threat of exclusion hurts so much. As peers are working together in a group sometimes exclusion will happen, but one thing should always be kept in mind that it has nothing to do with who you are. The feeling is awful, but also temporary. It’s really important to slow down things and help teenagers think from different perspectives. No decision is ever right or wrong, but the amount of time spent helping the teenagers weighing out the possible consequences changes the game altogether. Always make them understand the importance of patience and those new skills take time to master. Also, they already have it in them to be extraordinary

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