Parents of teens, research supports our teens need us….Understanding the teen Brain
Good news, both psychologists and neuroscientists agree our teens need us, however, both warn not to be controlling, “helicopter parents” or “bull doze parents”.
Dr. Robert Epstein, a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behaviour Research and Technology states?”as parents we should facilitate entry into adulthood”.?While neuroscientist, Dr. Frances Jensen, encourages parents to?, “share the facts with our teens”, and “we need to help them sort through and manage their input”.
?Dr. ?Jensen,?states wen need to be??”Mindful Parents” and states the ?latest?research supports:
“The teenage brain is only about 80 per cent of the way to maturity.”
“Teen brain is more susceptible to stress. Stress is linked with increase risk of depression and mental illness. ” ?Wow, this is a great advertisement for teens joining yoga class to help them decrease the stress hormones and activate the relaxation responses. I even have classes for parents with their teens.
Do not think it is all doom and gloom for our teens ?brains. The research show that our teen’s brain can:
- learn easier,
- learn faster and
- learn longer than our adults
- seeks novelty
- teens have more synapses
However, it is our job as parents to share important facts with our teens like:
- teens still have not fully?developed?their frontal lobe which controls decision?making,??impulse control, insight, judgement
- Teens have high levels of impressionability without much gating
- Teens get confused
- Since teens seek novelty, they need to be aware of potential hazards of their decisions (ie jumping into a pool while drunk)
- Teens have a higher chance of addiction than adults.Research shows daily chronic marijuana (drugs target synapses in the brain) and have been shown to have decreased IQ, and higher chance of addictions (due to the fact they have more synapses)
- Teens who binge drink?can have?brain injury (Alcohol target synapses in the brain)
- IQ can change in your teen years..positive repeated exposure can?enhance IQ
Parents, remember our teens need us to share our frontal lobe to help them make insight, judgement, which will result?in good?decisions.
Keep the communication open and share the facts.
Interestingly,Dr. Robert Epstein, a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behaviour Research and Technology has a different brain theory than Dr Jensen. He states all the above is only correlational data, and he challenges us to look around the world to notice that the same behaviours are not observed in all countries around the world.
Dr. Robert Epstein states as parents we should facilitate entry into adulthood. Not be be a controller. He states, parents should say “You decide”, sharing this preserves a good long term loving relationships.
However, what is a parent to do when they do not want to be facilitated or told facts?
Book:?“The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults.” Dr. Frances Jensen