Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Solving the mysteries of the teenage years

Getting inside a kid's head

Have you wondered why the teenage years are often tough on young people - and their parents? Recent research on the adolescent brain offers some eye-opening information.

Here's a report worth checking out:

The Teenage Brain: A Lesson in Understanding for Parents of Adolescents

If you're really into the science of young brains - if you secretly wonder if your child is an alien - you might want to visit to read the Frontline series Inside the Teenage Brain.

Tags: , , , , , ,


Shirazi said...

More than science, to me it looks like a social problem. No?

Ian Lidster said...

Zits is one of my 'fave raves' because, having taught teens and having been a step to a teen it is wildly accurate in its depiction of all that goes on in their strange brains. Lovely, Deb.

Deb S. said...

Shi: I just see it as a fact of life, not a problem. OK, wait. On days when my kids act as if some alien has snatched their bodies and their brains, then it is a problem!

Ian: I really like Zits, too, and this cartoon is definitely one of my favorites. One day I'll be able to wear a T-shirt that says, "I survived the teenage years!"

Shirazi said...

May be you look at it this way: We - the parents dont have that much time as our parents had with us. This and their engagement with the magic online world is creating more distance betwenn the generations. What they ought to get from parents, they are trying to (and geeting) from online. That is a problem and is creating problem. Have I conveyed?

Deb S. said...

Shi: I think two sentences in the first report say it all:

"Most parents of teens have experienced bad attitudes and disrespectful interchanges. It's not fun, but it is normal."

I talk to a lot of parents who are experiencing those "bad attitudes" for the first time, and they don't handle it well. They're clearly frustrated. I tell them to relax. There are some things we parents just have to bear.

Turbulence between parents and teenagers goes back to the beginning of time, I think. Sometimes we parents just need to relax a bit.

If our kid storms off because she doesn't get her way, maybe we should just let her go and allow her time to cool off. To chase after her, citing "rules and regulations" is counterproductive, I think. Usually, the child will get over it if we just leave her alone.

We need to remember that our children's brains are not fully developed during their teenage years. Kids also go through hormonal changes. It's tough on us parents, but if we stick together and support each other, we'll get through it! :-)

Finally, Shi, we do see kids whose behavior is over the top, behavior that really reflects serious social problems. But that's another topic for another day, I think.

Deb S. said...

By the way, with my first child I was clearly about "rules and regulations." There was a lot of gnashing of teeth as the child entered the preteen years. With my youngest, I've learned to say, "Whatever." It's all about parent survival. LOL

Dr. Deb said...

I specialize in working with teens and the bad attitude is quite normal. In order for kids to separate and individuate to the next developmental level, they push and bend rules, become oppositional and negotiate issues in emotional ways. Its important, as you say Deb, for parents to give teens room to grow and not clamp down on the rules and regs.

Shirazi said...

I am not indicating to any "rules and regulation." I am only trying to indicate that togatherness (giving more time to kids) can make a lot of difference. No?

Deb S. said...

Shi: I agree. Good things happen when parents spend quality time with their children.

Dr. Deb: I was hoping that you would stop by! It's always good to hear from an expert on discussions such as this one.