Parent conversations: How does a teen’s brain work?

Parent conversations: How does a teen’s brain work?

Each phase of childhood comes with its own unique set of blessings and challenges, doesn’t it? Teenagers get a bad rap, but as my daughter enters high school, I have had many wise friends tell me to savor these days—that the teen years are some of the best. As a rookie mom of a teen, I’m imagining that it’s a lot like those first few months with an infant. You’re so sleep-deprived that sometimes you want to rush your child on to the next phase, but once you get there, you think back to those days wistfully.

To help you enjoy the teen years rather than just endure them, read on for some insights into your teen’s brain.

— Nicole Balza


Parenting teens can be exhausting, frustrating, and seemingly impossible! As a parent of three adolescents, ages 14, 18, and 20, daily conversations in our home often start with What were you thinking? Why would you do that? Didn’t you know that would happen?

Teen brains are still under construction

Parental frustrations in dealing with teens/young adults (ages 13-25) often come about because of a lack of knowledge about the developing adolescent brain. In order to better understand the teenage brain, it is helpful to view it as “still under construction.” Although physically the brain has reached its adult size during adolescence, its planning and judgment processing center is not fully developed until age 25.

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Author: Laura Reinke
Volume 107, Number 07
Issue: July 2020

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Laura Reinke
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