Helpful Advice for Parents: Teens and Their “Risky” Brains

Murky PathThe land of adolescence seems to become more murky with each successive generation that passes through it .  If you are a parent or someone who volunteers their time working with teenagers you know this.  You also know how tricky it can be to help them navigate through those years.  On one hand there are the trials and tribulations that mark the transformations of those “in-between” years known as puberty.  And as if that wasn’t enough the other hand is full of  the added complexities of living in the 21st Century.

I feel that a part of my job as a student pastor is to be a student of all topics relating to youth and family in the 21st century.  I want to know about youth and family culture, and adolescent development, and how the use of technology affects sociocultural development or regression.  I want to know these things, in part, so I can pass on the information to those of you who live with or work with teens.  Because of that, I am making a mental commitment to myself and to you (so keep me accountable!) to post regularly to this blog, information that I think may be helpful to you as you seek to raise or mentor a teenager.

As a starting point I’d like to first pass on a TED talk that I recently came across discussing brain development through the adolescent years.  I think gaining an understanding of what is going on in the mind of an adolescent teen will help all of us to know how to teach them in a way that they need.  In fact I think it may be worth asking the following question as we watch the talk:

“How do I parent/mentor in a way that is most conducive to how an adolescent mind operates?”

Serving with you,


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