When you have teens at home, life is not the same. They are a bit boring compared to young children who are willing to explore and hang out with their parents for long periods of time. They tend to take unneccessary risks and be more emotional. As adults we make a mistake calling them hormonal. We don’t call a two-year old hormonal when they throw a tantrum. We don’t call an elder hormonal when they are outraged. We don’t classify ourselves hormonal for adult drama (“No, I’m not on my period. I’m just fed up with everyone leaving their dishes lying around and not picking up after themselves!”). So, why should we classify teens as hormonal when they tantrum, outrage, or have drama?
The answer is in the brain development and function. Neuroscientist Frances Jensen describes how the teen brain isn’t fully wired particularly in the frontal lobe. adolescence is a time for tremendous learning and growth. Teen brains are still making new neural connections into their twenties at a faster rate than adults. Adults have the advantage of connections between brain segments in place. Jensen’s book, A Neuroscientists Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults, she highlights how the brain develops, works, and how we can nurture them during this critical stage in development.
One of the most important things is to explain how their brain functions and have conversations on how they can be responsible for their actions while they learn to nourish their brain connectivity. Some kids feel they have made too many bad decisions and they won’t be productive or successful. Some kids can learn from the missteps of others.
I’m excited about the new research in neuroscience that helps us understand those we nurture and ourselves.
May you thrive as you nurture connections.