As I've written elsewhere, it's a confusing time for a teen because the part of the brain that does cause-and-effect thinking, planning, logical decision-making, moral judgment, insight and conceptual thinking - the part of the brain that makes adult human beings more intelligent than all other species - is "under construction" for about a dozen years. This is why they do irrational things. And why they need help if they are going to do a good job of developing this part of the brain, which is key to their success during the rest of life. Like the developmental phases in other parts of the brain, this final phase is a "use-it-or-lose-it" process. At the end of the journey, the window of opportunity to lay down a strong foundation closes.
I've mentioned some of the books that I'm reading. I've also come across some good video clips on YouTube. Here are the best I've found so far...
"Brain Power" (6:50)
This is the best brief video segment I've ever seen for explaining the basics of child brain development.
"Adolescent Brain" (7:14)
Straight talk from the neuroscientist who is leading the research effort to understand what's going on in a teenager's brain.
"The Teenage Brain" (2:23)
A quick look at the difference between the teen brain and the adult brain.
Is there are teenager in your life? Child? Grandchild? Student? Athlete? The more you know about "why they act that way," the more you can help them survive and thrive during their teen journey.
Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength . (Permission to use image purchased from istockphoto.com)