Dealing with Teenagers

I’m the parent of a teenager (I proud parent I should say–my daughter is currently representing Van Nuys HS today at the Los Angeles County Academic Decathalon Super Quiz, hoping to do well enough to go to the State Championships). That said, she is still a teenager, and I worry about her.

I mention all this because Metal Floss had a great piece on 5 Reasons Teenagers Do What They Do. This is a very informative piece, especially if you are the parent of a teen or pre-teen, or are a teen yourself and want to know why you do stupid things, even though you know better.  What are the reasons? (1) They tend to take more risks, because they over-think; (2) they give into peer-pressure more; (3) they can’t concentrate as well because their brains are overprocessing; (4) they are overly emotional; and they are (5) getting dumber (that is: adolescence is when the brain prunes connections as it rearranges for adult thinking, so the getting dumber is temporary). Further, this can last into the early 20s for girls, later for guys. [Note: If you are interested in this topic and are in Southern California, I recommend the D.E.A.R. course being given at Temple Ahavat Shalom starting 2/7, which covers the subject quite well]

P.S.: What do I mean I worry? For example, this week she went to bed at 9:20pm. That’s odd for her; she normally lives on Red Bull and goes to bed at 1am, studying all hours. So I thought something was off. What was happening was that she and a friend were spending all their energy teaching all the other kids on the AcaDec team in preparation for the SuperQuiz!

Music: Irene (1971 Original Broadway Cast): An Irish Girl