30 Apr 2012

Some Interesting Facts About the Teenage Brain

Who do you think is responsible for the following quote?

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food and tyrannize teachers.” (The answer is at the bottom of this article.) *
Did you know that the frontal lobe of the brain, which is responsible for decision making, problem solving, planning, and self regulation, does not fully mature until the age of 25? This can affect impulsivity, emotions, and overreactions. Well, that explains the stupid choices I made in high school and college! It also explains why auto insurance is higher for teens, and why you have to be 25 years old to rent a car. So even if your teen seems responsible and mature, beware! Did you also know that teens tend to misread facial expressions? Did your teen ever accuse you of yelling at her when you were actually just talking?

Here are some ways you can influence the positive emotions in your child:

  • Emphasize and capitalize on positive events.
  • Focus on what is new and good.
  • You’re never too old for hugs.
  • Focus on gratitude for what you have.
  • Emphasize the present rather than rehashing the past.

On the bright side, teens are fully capable of abstract thinking and can shine intellectually when motivated.
Source: Presentation by August Frattali, Principal of Rachel Carson Middle School
*Answer: Socrates, 5th Century BC

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