Creative Child

Five Ways to Support Teen’s Brain Development

by Rebecca Eanes

So, you’re raising a teenager. Bless your heart.

Teens are truly wonderful. There is so much to enjoy about this stage of parenting. Let’s be honest, though. It’s tough sometimes. Like, super tough. Their moods are a roller coaster, the dangers are bigger, and the consequences are potentially life-altering. They push boundaries. They pull away. They do weird things with their hair.

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It’s a turbulent stage filled with lots of angst, a fair amount of door slams, and more eyerolls than there are stars in the sky. Many parents don’t understand their teen’s behavior. Why, when you’re sure they know better, do they act on impulse or make poor decisions? Why do they have such big emotions over such simple things? It’d all be easier if we could just understand what is going on inside their heads, wouldn’t it? It turns out, what’s going on in there is a brain under heavy construction. Our teens sure look grown, especially when we have to stand on tiptoes to kiss their cheeks, but behind those rolling eyes is an underdeveloped brain that runs more on emotion than logic.

According to Stanford Children’s Health, adults process information in the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that responds with good judgement and awareness of long-term consequences. That region of the brain doesn’t fully develop until around age 25, however, so teens process information with the amygdala. This is the emotional center, and it’s responsible for impulsivity and immediate reactions, including fear and aggressive behavior. sisli escort

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This is why adolescents are more likely to:

  • Act on impulse
  • Get into accidents
  • Get into fights
  • Engage in risky behaviors

Teens often act before they think and don’t stop to consider the consequences. This isn’t defiance or naughtiness - it’s development.

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