How can parents inspire the teen brain?
Children always look towards their parents as their role models. They learn from them in quite unpredictable and unbelievable ways. Yet sometimes parents tend to miss this fact. They forget that they can inspire their kids to some good extent. Let’s look at how!
How can parents inspire the teen brain?
All the developmental changes that occur in a teen’s brain help them prepare for adulthood. These modifications prepare them to make sound choices and to think critically and creatively.
They develop skills that help them grow into self-sufficient, successful adults during adolescence. Adolescents’ future well-being depends on having a healthy brain, and parents should help their children develop a healthy brain.
The way children’s brains develop during puberty has long-term consequences for their health and well-being. Brain science will help us understand how and why teenagers behave the way they do. It also instructs parents on how to promote their children’s growth.
But how can you, as a parent, inspire your kid? Let’s see!
Understanding The Teen Brain
Adult and adolescent brains work differently, according to new studies. Adults use the prefrontal cortex, which is the logical part of the brain, to think. This is the part of the brain that reacts to circumstances with sound judgement and an understanding of the long-term implications. The amygdala is the part of the brain that processes information in teenagers. This is the part where you get emotional.
The links between the emotional part of the brain and the decision-making core are still forming in the brains of teenagers—and not always at the same pace. That’s why, when teenagers are confronted with a lot of emotional information, they can’t explain what they were thinking later. They weren’t thinking almost as much as they felt.
When it comes to making choices or solving problems, images of the brain in motion indicate that teenagers’ brains function differently than adults. The emotional and reactive amygdala guides their behaviour rather than the thoughtful, rational frontal cortex.
7 Things to know about the teen brain
The adolescent brain is frequently characterised as “under construction” or “not fully functional.” In reality, here on Parenthetical, we’ve coined the word “boom town brain” to describe adolescent forgetfulness.
Although the adolescent brain differs from the adult brain, it is inaccurate to label it as malfunctioning. Teen brains aren’t damaged or dysfunctional. Teen brains, on the other hand, are particularly adaptable to new learning and exploration. Here’s some information regarding teen brains:
1. Early puberty is when the brain reaches its largest size
About the age of 11, the brain of a girl reaches its maximum size. About the age of 14, the brain of a boy reaches its maximum size. However, this distinction does not imply that either boys or girls are smarter than the other!
2. Even after it has stopped developing, the brain continues to develop
Though the brain has stopped increasing in size, it continues to develop and mature until the mid-to late-twenties. The prefrontal cortex, located in the front of the brain, is one of the last areas of the brain to develop.
This section is in charge of skills like planning, prioritizing, and impulse control. Teens are more likely to engage in risky activities without realizing the consequences of their actions because these skills are still evolving.
3. The teen brain is eager to absorb new information and adapt to new situations
The plasticity of the teen brain means that it can alter, adapt, and react to its surroundings. Academic or mental challenges, exercise, and artistic experiences such as painting can all aid brain development and learning.
4. During puberty, several mental disorders will emerge
Teens are vulnerable to mental health issues due to ongoing brain changes, as well as physical, cognitive, and social changes. All the major changes in the brain can explain why puberty is a period when many mental disorders occur, including schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and eating disorders.
5. Stress could be more fragile in adolescent brains
Teens can respond to stress differently than adults because their brains are still developing, which could lead to stress-related mental disorders including anxiety and depression. Teens can benefit from mindfulness, which is a psychological process of consciously paying attention to the present moment.
6. Teenagers and adults need more sleep than children and adults
Melatonin (the “sleep hormone”) levels in the blood are naturally higher later at night and lower in the morning in teenagers than in most children and adults, according to research. This disparity could explain why so many teenagers stay up late and have trouble getting out of bed in the morning.
Teens can get around 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night, but the majority of them do not. Sleep deprivation can make it difficult to focus, increase impulsivity, and increase the risk of irritability and depression.
7. The teen brain is tough
Even though puberty is a precarious period for the brain and adolescents, the majority of teenagers grow up to be healthy adults. Any improvements in the brain during this critical period of development can aid in the prevention of long-term mental disorders.
How can you as a parent inspire the teen brain?
“The more you know, the better,” parents and educators have preached for years. Teenagers are taught to memorise facts and regurgitate material, resulting in rote memorization and stifled creativity.
It is critical to boosting adolescent brain power during this formative stage of life to promote independent life success. Follow the advice below to help your teenager achieve his or her best and brightest brain output and to promote critical frontal lobe growth.
- Teach your teen to think in several ways to view movies, novels, political debates, troubling school or peer problems, or works of art.
2. Encourage your children to be problem solvers and solution makers for everyday problems, and talk about how academic material can help them do so. To boost their problem-solving skills you can enroll them to skill development classes provided by many online ed-tech companies like – Real School, Brainy, etc.
3. Instead of a long-winded retell without thought, ask your teenager to send you a “message” from a book, movie, or painful experience.
4. Allow your adolescent to view the lyrics of a favorite song from both positive and negative viewpoints and then do the same with your song.
5. Through them, watch their favorite TV show and discuss different take-home messages for the various characters.
6. Rather than trying the “correct” solution to a question or dilemma, push for a variety of options.
7. Teens may connect impulsive thinking with reality by discussing the implications of their decisions. This aids the brain in making these associations and trains it to do so more often.
8. Remind your teenagers that they are capable and resilient. Teens have a hard time understanding how they can help change poor circumstances because they are so focused on the present. It could be beneficial to remind them of situations in the past that they thought would be disastrous but turned out to be beneficial.
9. Get to know the things that matter to your adolescent. You don’t have to like hip-hop music to show interest in what they’re doing, but showing an interest in what they’re doing shows them that they’re important to you.
10. When teens come to you with issues, ask them if they want you to answer or if they just want you to listen.
11. The brains of teenagers need more sleep than the brains of adults. Encourage your teen to develop healthy sleeping habits.
Parents also step in with suggestions or blame and try to solve their children’s problems. However, teenagers could be less likely to be available with their parents in the future because of this. You want to make coming to you emotionally comfortable and simple so that you can be a part of their lives.
Our brains are wired to be motivated, especially during adolescence. Fostering imagination and ingenuity to solve complex and multifaceted challenges–both in and out of the classroom–will ensure our children’s prosperous futures for years to come. “Imagination is more critical than knowledge,” Einstein once said. The amount of information available is minimal. The universe is encircled by imagination.” Even if they don’t realise it, your teen needs your guidance. Understanding their growth will assist you in assisting them in becoming self-sufficient, responsible adults. Enrolling them in activities and courses that enhance their skills, with the guidance of a personal mentor (like it’s done in ed-tech domains like Real School), can be very helpful.
Also Read: Communication with your teens
‘This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter‘
© Ruchie Verma.
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This is really insightful post. i am seriously scared of this stage but your tips will be helpful
My elder one is in teen age, so I could related with many pointers. During puberty, there are lots of physical, mental and emotional changes happen and as a parent, it is our responsibility to help our kids in easy transition into adulthood. Making positive communication is something that always works great for me .
I like how you are assisting parents to handle the teen stages of their children. Giving them options is something I do even now instead of just solving their problems automatically. Good thinking.
Teenagers are always a handful for every parent. But you have listed out wonderful pointers for parents of teenagers. If followed its going to make life very easy for both…parents and teenagers.
I was a mess when dealing with my teenager specially the early years , I wish I had this kind of knowledge then. I really appreciate your very practical tips that can help in developing the teen brain.
I didn’t know about the connection between mental disorders and puberty. This was an informative post and I liked your tips about how parents can inspire teens.
These 11 pointers are bang on. Understanding a teen brain is challenging but when we take it slow and think at their level then it is not very challenging. I often do the point !. Discussing any movie/show from different perspectives. #10 is very important. As parents, we jump into providing them the solution but sometimes they just need our patient listening ear.
As a mother of soon-to-be teen I find your tips very useful. Mental health issues due to peer and academic pressure is high in teens. We have to befriend and inspire them through example.
Handling a teen can actually be a handful. But your tips will help parents know how to tackle situations and help their teens.
Managing a teenager seems to be a difficult task to me as I am yet to reach that stage but reading this post indeed gives me insight on how we should be with a teenager and how to bond well to inspire their already raging hormones and thought process.
the pointers in the post are so relatable and liked the fact that we need not like their choices infact understand their choices and communication holds the key in parenting.
Thanks for sharing such an informative post it’s really helpful for all parents who are handling teenagers and facing real task
It’s a very well-written post and I really liked the way you have explained the complexity of the teen brain and how parents can help & inspire the teen brain. I will save this post for future reference.
I’ve my niece at home who has just entered her teens and we see so much change in her behaviour and mood from time to time. Her need to be left alone, less talking to family and more friends. This is a phase in their life where we adults need to be more accepting to their changes .
True teenagers undergo a massive change in terms of physical and mental setup. Thanks for these valuable pointers for parents of teens to help them positively inspire.
teenage is very sensitive. thats very informative read
Great article! every mother needs to know this. I, as a mother of a 13 year old daughter, tried everything I could to understand my baby. Reading this post gives me insights on what to do. Thanks!
Thanks for visiting and I am glad this article helped you!!
Informative article. Will surely follow the tips provided. Keep writing such blogs.
Having a teenager in house, this article really redirected how I was doing things and what all changes I should make. Thanks11
This is very Informative post!!!