The Teen Brain
The teenage years are a time of confusion and frustration for parents. “I don’t know what happened to my loving, affectionate daughter. She keeps to herself, gets irritable and prickly when I try to talk to her and gives me attitude when I ask her to do things.” “I am fighting with my son all the time, just trying to keep him safe and out of trouble. He just doesn’t think before he acts and I’m on tenterhooks worrying about the next thing he’s going to do.” The teenage brain is going through major renovation. As with any renovation, the house is thrown into chaos. Walls are down, the floor is hacked and there is rubble everywhere. Everything is a mess. You cannot see how the structure is going to come up or visualize the end result. You can only trust that the contractor knows what he is doing. Research tells us that the prefrontal cortex, the logical, rational part of the brain, matures between the ages of 18 to 25. This is when things start to settle down and fall into place. While the younger teenager sees different points of views and struggles to come to terms with them, the young adult is able to take different perspectives and integrate them meaningfully. With time and patience, the renovation will come to an end and the result will be a marvelous development that is worth the wait.
Hands by Faith Tan
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