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  • Writer's pictureAmi Kassar

AmiSight 5/20: The Teenage Brain

In conversation with my close friends, there's been an uptick of frustration with their teenage children. Ah, the joys of parenting. Raising children can be one of the most difficult challenges of life, but the ultimate reward of family is immeasurable. So how do you stay sane during the most difficult years?

 

It's important to remember that both raising a teenager and being a teenager come with fundamental frustration. The fact of the matter is that the human brain isn't fully developed until the mid-to-late 20s, and teenagers are quite a few years away from that maturation. The book, The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults, provides key insights and perspectives into the wiring and functional capabilities of the growing brain. Overall, the teenage brain is in a much more delicate position than the adult brain. Because a developing brain is eager to learn and form habits, it is less resilient against emotional stress, addiction, and short-term rewards.

 

It's key to invest in your family—both yourself and your children. Set your appropriate boundaries, work as best as you can towards understanding your children, and remember that being involved in your child's life is the most valuable gift you can give them as a parent. It's impossible to be a perfect parent, and it's impossible to be the perfect kid, but that will never stop us from trying our best.


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