The Primary Changes in The Adolescent Brain Create:
- Novelty Seeking
- Need for Social Engagement
- Increased Emotional Reactivity
- 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