The Teenage Brain
by Zach Meyer
If you're a teen, and you feel like your parents don't understand the way you think or experience the world sometimes, you're right. They don't.
If you're a parent, and you feel like you can't begin to fathom some of the choices your teen makes, you're right. You can't.
Because your brains are totally different right now.
The brain is almost full size by late childhood, and we used to assume that it was also done "maturing" at that time, too, and that adolescence was just a time to fill an essentially adult brain with experience. We now know that's not accurate at all. Between the ages of 10 and 25, while nothing visible is going on, the brain is rewiring itself in amazing, wild, and ultimately adaptive ways.
My favorite read on this subject appeared in the October, 2011 edition of National Geographic as an article entitled "Beautiful Brains." It's my favorite because it's informative, super interesting, and fairly concise. You can read it here.
I love working with teens partly because I remember what it was like to have that teenage brain. I work hard to connect with teens' subjective experience of their lives to help them make meaningful and lasting changes. If you've forgotten what it was like to be a teen, check out the article. If you're still a teen and you feel your parents don't get you, send them a link to this article. It's a great starting point to talk about your different experiences of the world, and what you can learn from each other's perspectives!