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> Parents > Guide to the Teen Brain

Guide to the Teen Brain

The Parent's Guide to the Teen Brain

The Parent’s Guide to the Teen Brain site is part of the Partnership for Drug-Free America’s new online offerings for parents hoping to answer the question “who is this kid?” as they watch their teenager slam doors, play video games and talk on the phone for hours or offer one-word answers to questions.  Through video, quizzes and role-playing, A Parent’s Guide to the Teen Brain helps parents navigate teendom by demystifying teen personalities and behaviors and offering tips and advice on staying connected with kids.

The site teaches parents that the human brain takes 25 years to fully develop, and there’s a huge burst of development during the early teen years. The areas of the brain responsible for physical coordination, emotion and motivation mature sooner than the rest of the brain during the teen years, which is why teens like to skateboard and play video games, and it’s also why they yell, slam doors, give into impulses and take risks.

It’s easy to understand how teens get in trouble, especially with drugs and alcohol, because the part of the brain that helps us make complex decisions doesn’t catch up with the rest of the brain until age 25.  Parents need to remember that the teen years are not the time to expect good decisions from teens, so they need to step in and serve as the judgment center for their kid’s brain. Drugs and alcohol are especially dangerous while the brain is developing, so it’s even more important for parents to put aside their frustrations and step in. The real reason parents don’t want their kids using drugs is because they love them.
Most teens say their parents are their heroes. We understand it doesn’t always feel that way for parents, but that’s why the Partnership is here—to champion parents and help them be heroes to their kids.

The teen brain site, was developed by the Partnership with the Treatment Research Institute and WGBH. Visit it at www.drugfree.org/teenbrain.

Information from Dianne Harnad at DMHAS forwarded by Connecticut Clearinghouse on 6/25/2008. 
(Source:  The Partnership for a Drug-Free America)


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