What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of adolescence?
not good enough?
out of control?
Maybe a few of those examples crossed your mind.
It can be tempting to hold your breath and count the days until it’s over. Praying you make it to the other end of the tunnel with everyone alive and no permanent scars.
Dan Siegel, a professor at UCLA and leading expert on adolescent brain development, says in his new book “Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain”, there are three widely held myths about this time period:
- Raging hormones are the culprit causing teenagers to “go mad” or “lose their minds.”
- Adolescence is a time of immaturity and teens need to “grow up.”
- This stage requires moving from dependence on adults to total independence from them.
While those feelings are common for this period of development, it is important to remember and focus on the positives.
Adolescents is a time where life is on fire.
Emotions are felt very intensely.
Exploration and newly forming individualism is exciting.
It’s natural for adolescents to move towards independence, but the goal is interdependence. Not total isolation.
A new form of relationship will begin to form between teen and parents as the adolescence grows from a dependent child who is told what to do into a to a person that can think, brainstorm, make decisions, and take on responsibility.
With the right tools, your child can learn to thrive at this age and set the stage for the rest of their lives.