Sunday, June 6, 2010

Gotta Love Those Crazy Teenagers - Part 1

I have two adolescent children.  My son is 14, and my daughter is 12.  I have been forewarned over the last 10 years or so of the dangers of teenage-hood.  I have been quite oblivious as to what that means, until now.  I have noticed some changes in their attitudes, and the fact that they spend a lot of time with their friends and it's not so cool to hang out with Mom and Dad anymore.  Where did my babies go?

I have read a book, called Yes, Your Teen is Crazy! by Michael J. Bradley.  It has been eye-opening, and yes, it really is true.  For a short period of time, your young, innocent little child is going to venture out into the world and become one of those "crazy" teenagers.  Scientists have actually proven that although most of the brain has developed by age five, there is also a substantial growth spurt that occurs during the onset of adolescence.  Emotional control, impulse restraint, and rational decision-making are those areas affected at this time.  Positive things like sports, music, school achievement and social consciousness are all things that the teen brain thrives on.  Unfortunately, this is also a time where your teen will start to experiment with things like self-identity (colour their hair) or experiment with piercings and tattoos.  They may want to try drugs, or experiment with their sexuality.  Music is often a large part of a teen's years, and sometimes it's not the kind of music you want to listen to.  They also say that teens can be more aggressive during these years. 

The good thing is that with a lot of love and patience, a good strong parent-team, and keeping the lines of communication open, you and your teen will get through this time alive.  Bradley uses the following analgy, that I particularly like a lot:

"Remember diapers?  Adolescence is very similar.  It's a rough time.  It can be very messy and often smells bad, but it's temporary.  It will end.  Try to find the exciting, wonderful parts of this new child.  Fall in love again with your son or daughter, but understand this must be a new, more mature kind of love."

We're in for a fun time, aren't we?

See tomorrow's post for Part 2.

Have a crazy day!


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