What is going on in the minds of our teens?
They are going through opposing thoughts in their minds. Their need for independence and the need for connectedness.
Their bodies are going through a chemical tug of war internally!
On one hand, they want to find their way, be their own person, discover their unique place in society, and they often do this by testing the limits.
Their brains are not fully developed, especially the braking system of the brain, that keeps us from engaging in risky behaviors.
On the other hand, they want to fit in, be seen, heard and accepted, they want to belong to something bigger than themselves!
How do we help them through this transition?
🤔Maintain the idea of connecting with your teen instead of controlling them. When we connect with them, we listen and value their unique ideas and positions, while maintaining boundaries and standards.
🤔Get curious about their passions and what makes them tick. Ask questions when they want to pursue something risky. What do they hope the outcome will be? This helps them to engage their prefrontal cortex (higher thinking center) and switch out of emotional reactions and decisions.
🤔Get excited about this time of growth and consider it a normal part of developing. Encourage them that you believe in them as you engage with their ideas. We want them to understand that we are for them and not against them.
🤔Remember that they are trying to be unique, which means they may not think and do things the way we would like. Embrace their uniqueness, while maintaining safe boundaries and high standard for them. It's a delicate dance.
🤔Our teens are bombarded with information from the internet, what they are lacking is the wisdom to apply it. This is where you come in, engaging their minds to discover the outcomes you desire.
🤔Lectures don't work. Give them up! We need to change the way we interact so they develop wisdom and be problem solvers on their own.
What techniques have worked for you?
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