Teenage is a phase which is essential for neurodevelopment. By the age of twenty or twenty-one, the brain gets mature and is capable of finely tuned neural circuitry. Hormonal changes during teenage create ripples. It is important to understand the teenage lifestyle.
Before reading the tips to understand the teenage lifestyle, let’s read about how a teenager’s brain follows simple rules of life.
Teenage brain follows simple rules:
First, is ‘Use it or Lose it’ – it means as the brain grows, the parts of it which are being used stay and that are not used snip off. This is the teenage lifestyle. For example, if two teenagers learned to play a musical instrument, the one who continued to practice would turn out to be skilled in adult life as compared to the one who stopped.
Second is ‘Neurons that fire together wire together’ – the parts of the brain which are used together are connected strongly. If one teenager follows a healthy habit, chances are higher for him to associate with a healthy lifestyle later in life also. The other teenager who always lay on a couch and watches TV might associate with mindless munching. Analyze the difference in teenage lifestyle.
The teenage brain is adventurous and not easy to understand. It is constructed to explore and experiment a vast field. The teenage brain can be better explained as ‘work in progress’ which might get confused, grumpy or irritable while working.
According to research, these 4 tips might help you to understand the teenage lifestyle
Let your children sleep in
Most of the teenagers don’t have a proper sleep pattern. Almost two-thirds of teens are sleep deprived elevating the cortisol level (stress hormone) which makes them irritable. They want to go to bed late and wake up later in the morning. The brain of a teenager is a bit different from all of us, this is how their brain works. Help them to stay in bed longer or make sure they go to bed on same time daily and wake up at the same time. It is really difficult to get them back to routine but not impossible.
A teenage brain needs at least eight hours of sleep every night. The brain develops and consolidates during sleep. Lack of sleep might make them impulsive, increases hunger, leads to obesity and it might hamper their memory too. In the United States, there are some schools which are bringing late school hours for teenagers to cope up with changing biorhythms.
Talk to your teenager about sex
When parents talk to their children about sex at an early age, chances are children will have sex later in life or they’ll use contraception. At times, we feel uncomfortable to talk about sex but it is the need of an hour. We need to create a calm environment and not judging. It is important to listen to our children carefully, what they want to share, what they already know, what they want to know. We need to discuss with them about sex frankly giving them all the necessary information even about the related infections and diseases.
Set a great digital example
Teenagers are victims of social media and technology, even our lives are ruled by the technology. All of us get addicted to this. We as parents also spend lots of time looking at the screen. Children spend about 8 to 10 hours on the screen which is alarming. We usually give phone or an I-pad to our children to watch a video and have fun, this is the easiest way to engage them. But later in life, it might become a problem. Children do what they see us doing.
We as a family need to define a no phone zone or no technology zone for some time during the day. Be it your dinner time or after dinner where there will be no gadgets. Lead by setting an example. During this family time, you and your children can share many things. It will be your personal time. Try to listen more to your teenager instead of talking to them or giving lectures. Try to mold yourself according to the teenage lifestyle to understand your teenager better.
Do not spy on your teenager
Research shows that snooping on your teenager isn’t doing any good for you or your teen. If they see you spying on them, they will not discuss or share anything with you. Instead, try talking frankly with them. Children are likely to share more with the parents who directly ask them. Establish a friendly environment and try to have open discussions about every good and bad thing. You can include humor to make the conversation light. Build trust so that your children will come to you on their own to discuss their problems or share their happy moments.
Have more tips to add to understand teenage lifestyle? Please share with us in the comments section below.
Wish you a very Happy Teenage Parenting!