The agony over headgear and braces is now long gone as scientists urge parents to take a closer look at how our teens are Hardwired.
After reading a recent article during a usual Sunday routine of extra strong WaWa in one hand and a morning paper in the other… I tend to leave my Parade articles for the last scrumptious dessert read after gobbling through mounds of local news and gazillion ads that add bad calories to my wallet instead of my hips.
This weeks highlight, Inside Your Teen’s Head, by Judith Newman. This of course would catch my attention as the last 3 plus years I have dedicated my days to researching such topics close to heart for the benefit of two growing girls and my growing desire to sometimes want to cash it all in when the surge of hormones flux between 3 women living in one household. Just as we used to blame chocolate for corrupting our face with pimples, we can no longer blame only hormones for the slithering noodle-like, sleep deprived creature, who forgets even the basics of basic and turns emotions on and off like a bad teen reality show.
Get this… so I knew about the whole Prefrontal Cortex thingy from Dr. Laura Berman, the renowned sex expert often highlighted on Oprah. Those of you not familiar with this not so layman’s terms, the Prefrontal Cortex is located towards the front of the brain and as chief commander,it is in charge of consequences, planning ahead and weighing priorities. A part of the brain said to not fully develop until we are well into our twenties. YES! TWENTIES!!! Crazy, I know, but it’s true. So when we see our teenagers uploading YouTube video’s of themselves after repeatedly telling them not to because of the “consequences”… you now know why.
Here’s the kicker… as if that doesn’t shock you enough, scientists have now proven in a recent study with kids and the occasional brain surges that happen from childhood to adulthood; there is yet a huge surge that happens right before puberty hits followed by a period of “pruning”. This pruning is associated with our use-it or lose-it capabilities, where certain skills will continue to develop and others will fade into their hard drive. Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute states, “The brain is very efficient, allowing you to become more adept at the life skills you’re going to use-which is why these are the years to set good work habits in place.” Just writing this is already inspiring me for another article, so stay posted…
Anyone who knows me or what I believe in; this just confirms how much we need to teach our girls how to practice their self-worth. Eventually with practice, comes the possibility of a positive self-image for our girls.
Oh, and can I just let you in on a little secret? My slithery noodle-like teenager is peacefully snoring away on the couch behind me, missing school today. Why? I will let the school know she has physically exhausted herself after much pruning in the Prefrontal Cortex region. 🙂