Monday, August 25, 2014

Parenting the Adolescent Brain, 1

Do you live with a teenager? It can be a roller coaster ride. Fun, exciting, and a bit stressful—even for those who love roller coasters. Take heart, there is a reason and it has to do with the brain. After the first few years of life, the brain’s most dramatic growth spurt occurs during the teen-age years—often loosely defined as age eleven to nineteen (although I have met some brains who were much older than nineteen that seemed still to be exhibiting some adolescent irascibility, defined as a tendency to irritability, persisting bad moods, and sudden fits of anger). Yes, the brain “continues to change throughout life, but there are huge leaps in development during adolescence,’ according to Sara Johnson, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who reviewed the neuroscience in The Teen Years Explained: A Guide to Healthy Adolescent Development by Clea McNeely and Jayne Blanchard.
Part 2 tomorrow.

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