Understanding the Teenage Brain

Do you ever wish you could understand teenagers better?

It’s often during the tumultuous time of adolescence that we see the most discord between parents and teenagers, but a lot of this behavior can be better understood if you dig into the research on the developing teenage brain. 

We really enjoyed reading this NPR article today, which describes how the brain actively develops until the age of 24. In some traditional societies, adulthood began at the age of 25, which makes more sense in the light of current research.

We especially appreciate the emphasis on teenagers learning about their own development and understanding the difference between healthy and unhealthy behavior in social groups.

We remember meeting a gifted high school student a few years ago who was intelligent and bright, and his father wanted him to apply to the best universities he could get into. Unfortunately, he was not motivated to work very hard, even though he had the potential. He was distracted by his group of friends and was coasting on getting good grades without a lot of work. He didn’t make much time for extracurricular activities, and he did not get into a top university. Of course, things can always change at any point, and we do hope he woke up to his true potential at university.