As a speaker I find that many folks in my audiences are dealing with surly teens as parents. It's tough to grapple with the demands of being swamped at work. Add the complexities of parenting a teen can push you over the edge.
The very wonderful Sandra Dupont sent me this terrific information today on The Teen Brain. If you have a teen in your life you may find this very helpful! For more information about teens or to get hands on help with your own teen go to:http://www.sandradupontmft.com/
Understanding the Teenage Brain
• Adolescence is starting at younger ages. The average age that girls go into adolescence is between 10 and 11, when they reach 17% body fat and 106 pounds. Boys are going into adolescence between 12 and 13.
• Adolescence is the transitional time when the brain re-wires itself for attachment, reproduction, and the creation of a stable family structure, thus insuring future generations.
• There can be a noticeable gap between intelligence and behavior during this time. We used to attribute this to the assault of the hormonal hurricane. There is actually a lot more going on in the different structures of the brain that end up having long term consequences.
• The myelin sheathing, which insulates nerves, increases by 100% in adolescence. Myelin sheathing is responsible for the conduction of nerve impulses to the brain. As the nerves become twice as efficient, this feeds the intensity and speed of a person's reaction.
• Adolescence is also time of the lowest levels of serotonin in the human brain during human life. Serotonin is the primary transmitter in the limbic system, having to do with morale and moods. Low serotonin levels create a state in which an individual is susceptible to stress and overwhelm.
• The brain does not grow in an orderly fashion. It first over produces a bunch of connections that go to new parts of the brain. Then around age 16 through the mid-20's, it starts eliminating connections based on how frequently they are being used. The connections that remain determine who a person feels they are for the rest of their life.