Every generation seems to think that their teenagers are different and behave worse than their parents did when these parents were teenagers. This is merely a perception.

pixabay.teenage-girls-238963_1280Teenagers have always been emotional, impulsive, risk-taking, defiant of authority, arguing with parents, idealist, searching for identity and seeming to show preference for peers over family. Nature wants them to be like that for the survival of the human species in a changing world. Yes! Our survival in the universe is in their hands and brains…and in their behavior.

Teenagers have not changed in the past 3000 years. What is different is that, through neuroscience, we now understand why they do what they do, and why they act the way they act. The answer lies with their brain, which is still under construction.
The stage of brain development causes teenagers to think, feel and behave the way they do.

To understand and help teens, we have to connect emotionally with them, to develop trust with them, and to create the environment in which their potential can blossom.

pixabay.depressed_teenager-422197_1280Based on information from neuroscience that the teenage brain is a work in progress, we can now offer explanations for teenage behavior, and we can use that information to understand and parent the teenager, and set them on the path to lifelong learning and ongoing personal development.

While adults may be expecting teens to be logical with sound reasoning  leading to desired bahavior, the reality is teenagers are ruled by the emotional brain. Parents and other adults therefore have to connect emotionally with them, and the communication and parenting styles are critical.

pixa.boy-915226_1280Parents must know what parenting strategies will work and what will drive their teenagers away to the world of their peers who they believe will understand them.

A dictatorial or authoritarian style will not work; neither will an “anything goes” style. What works is a democratic or authoritative style and, in the process, the teenager is being prepared for an adult life where he will be responsible, will be comfortable making decisions, and will embark on a journey of constant learning.

If you need help with your teenager