I do a lot of work with adolescents and their parents, carers and teachers. Often I get asked to explain why teenagers behave so differently to younger children and adults. In a recent newspaper interview for the Sunday Express, I talked about the research showing that there are actually differences in the brains of adolescents that likely account for some of the behaviours we see.
Researchers are uncovering more evidence that suggests there are differences in the structure of the adolescent brain accounting for a tendency to take greater risks, show higher levels of impulsivity and experience greater difficulties in social communication. It is however also an optimal stage in life for learning a new skill, discovering hobbies and interests and expanding prowess in new areas. So there really are advantages to these changes!!
It is important to understand these differences because far from it being that we and they are doomed! … it can actually help us to support adolescents better. We can help to channel these tendencies towards positive endeavours and help adolescents achieve positive outcomes. It can also increase our tolerance and understanding when we engage with adolescents – it really isn’t just about them being difficult or obstinate on purpose, there are underlying processes at work that if moulded right will lead to them being well-rounded adults!
Watch this really informative Ted Talk by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore a Cognitive Neuroscientist from UCL.
If you have a teen that seems to be struggling a lot or you are a parent, carer, teacher with a teen and are having difficulties, we are always here to help. Visit our website @ www.span-life.com for more information.
Hope you found this useful, come back again soon! From the SpanLife Team!