Everything You Wanted to Know About the Adolescent Brain

The relationship between Teen and Parent is a constant balance between control and letting go, for both of them.”
— Lina Acosta Sandaal

The Primary Changes in The Adolescent Brain Create:

  • Novelty Seeking
  • Need for Social Engagement
  • Increased Emotional Reactivity
  • Debate/Questioning
  • Creative Exploration

When stuck on how to act with your teen, always wonder and ask yourself these questions: 

  • How are they asking for novelty/something new?
  • Are you allowing them to try something new?
  • Are you open to changes in your family/daily plans?
  • Are you allowing them to spend time with friends
  • How might you be asking them to choose between you and their friends?
  • Have you gotten to know their friends?
  • Is it an emergency really or are they expressing their emotions with reactivity?
  • Did you label, empathize and describe what you experience them feeling? Narrate what you imagine it is like for them in their shoes
  • How are you taking their emotional reactivity (which is normal and expected) personally?
  • Did you allow your teen to debate with you?
  • Did you guide on how to debate rather than telling them to stop?
  • How often do you let them win the argument?
  • Are you giving them the opportunity to form their own opinion?

Remember your teen is not:

  • LAZY = Neurological Shifts in Sleep
  • IRRESPONSIBLE=Novelty Seeking
  • DISRESPECTFUL=Needs Debate

To guide and assist their Behavior:

  • Be clear on rules and expectations. Be open to change and reassess those rules often
  • Keep a “Yes” response state
  • You are the Parent, not the Mentor. Find them adult Mentors.
  • Help them to be aware of the self, the other, and the group/family. Important for neurological integration
  • Be mindful that they need “off time” and “quiet time”. Yoga, meditation, walking have been found to work for settling the teen mind

Sit back and enjoy Dan Siegel speak on Teen Development.