“How was school?”
“What did you do today?”
“Who did you see at the party?”
Sound familiar? You probably have a tween or teen in your house.
Parents are often mystified by the apparently sudden changes in their kids’ moods and behaviour when they hit puberty. That chatty 11-year-old may suddenly clam up when they turn 12. Instead of the detailed accounting of every banal classroom detail you’ve been accustomed to for years, you suddenly get monosyllabic answers. Your 14-year-old may storm out the room, slamming doors, without any provocation. Your 15-year-old may withhold details about his friends and what they do when they go out.
There may be tears, fears, shouting or stony silence.
Eating habits change, sleeping patterns shift, likes become dislikes and vice versa. It can be all that much harder to broach difficult topics about social media use, sex, drugs, mental health issues and drinking.
As challenging as the teen years can be, they are also wonderful. Your child is growing up before your eyes, figuring out who they are, pursuing new interests and developing new talents. Instead of worrying and complaining about this new normal, it helps for parents to have a better understanding of what’s going on. The information we do get tends to be about physiological changes from the neck (and waist) down, but our kids’ brains are going through important changes as well.
Understanding what’s going on can make it all much clearer for mom and dad, and hopefully strengthen your relationship with the emerging adult in the family. The current research on adolescent brain biology has a lot to teach us about the teenagers we think we know.
Join me at Trafalgar School for Girls on Tuesday, Nov. 7th from 7:30-9 p.m. (3495 Simpson Ave., corner Docteur Penfield Ave. Montreal). I’ll be speaking to parents of elementary and high school parents about a few key changes that occur during the teen years, with practical strategies on how to help families navigate – and thrive – in turbulent times.
You will learn:
- How changes in the brain impact the development of good judgment, problem-solving, decision-making and impulse control
- How normal changes in sleep patterns change the way your teenager gets through his/her day and night and affects their schooling and family time
- How the overdevelopment of the brain structures responsible for handling emotions affects the way your teen sees the world
- How social media, alcohol, illegal drugs can impact the growing brain
- Why we can’t blame hormones for everything.
This lecture is open to the public. Tickets are $10. Sign up online by clicking here.