Below is a link to a short video on the teen brain and brain development research.
A teenager's life, body, and experience are all about change. Very few things are stable for them. Even the chemicals in their bodies and the function of their brains are in flux. This can lead to emotional outbursts and moments of seemingly irrational thoughts.
It is important for us, as parents of teens, to remember that there are times when their emotions do "get the best of them." Therefore, we have to work hard to keep our wits about us, or what we say and do may actually escalate the situation and deepen the problem. It is hard work, but it is more than worth it.
Here are some suggestions...
- Don't forget to breathe - this slows us down and gives us the opportunity to work through our thoughts as well as our feelings
- Take care of yourself - get proper rest and try to eat well
- Find a confidant with whom you can share the joys and concerns of parenting a teen - this should be in addition to your spouse or significant other
- Take time to ask your teen about their life and their joys
- Do something fun together - go grab an unexpected ice cream treat, go for a walk, go to a movie
- Write your teen a note about what you appreciate about them
If we are more intentional about these things, they won't make all of the struggles go away, but they may aid in lessening the number of conflicts and their severity.
Teen Brain Video