Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Teenage choices, continued...

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I’m not sure if you are the target of anger and mood swings from your teens but I sure had a target on my back and my teenagers had the bows and arrows. It seemed like a time of continuous moodiness; remember, between my fiancĂ© and I, we have 4 kids all about a year a part in steps so we went through these years one right after the next seeing the moods, self-centeredness and reckless behaviors play out one after the other for what seemed like an eternity. I’m writing about the hardship of our teenagers but there were also many heartfelt moments too!

I was empowered by what Medscape shared about the amygdala. shared, “The adolescent brain… develops in a predictable way, in a very set back-to-front pattern (NIMH, 2001). The rear section of the brain, the cerebellum, is the first to mature. Cerebellar functions include physical coordination, rudimentary senses, and early thought processes; there is a corresponding increase in physical abilities as the school age child develops… Also, in the rear of the brain, the amygdala develops in order to control the emotional processes in the brain… This provides some insight into the early adolescent and the emotions that can be intense and unexpected as this portion of the brain grows and matures (NIMH, 2001). The middle of the brain… then undergoes this conversion from gray to white matter. The basal ganglia, known as the "secretary" to the frontal functions of the brain, is in charge of organizing the brain and keeping it on time and on-task (Wallis, 2004, p. 60). The corpus collusum is attributed to such tasks as problem solving and decision-making; it is considered to be the origin of creativity and critical thinking (Wallis, 2004).”

When you put this all in perspective, the way they act makes perfect sense. It helps justify the hardship a bit. Of course, it doesn’t make it okay for our teenagers to be reckless, it just means we have to be more involved and in tune with them in order to try to keep them on a healthy track until the brain is fully developed. It’s a tough mission but really worthwhile! For me, it has involved lots of prayer!

What about you?

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