What you need to know

The Teenage Brain – ‘A wonder to Behold’

Most parents of teenage children come to accept that their teenagers will at times behave erratically, argue with great passion and emotion, stand frozen in a state of indecisiveness, take risks without thinking through the consequences and loose themselves in the sanctuary of their bedrooms late at night listening to loud music or anything other than trying to sleep.

Teenagers themselves know they become emotional sometimes for no apparent reason, they doubt themselves, they want to ‘fit in’ and they tell us, as school nurses, that they can't control their anger which often gets them into trouble.

Understanding more about the changes that take place in the teenage brain will better inform professionals working with young people in the support and advice they offer. Furthermore the research offers parents new ways of managing and reacting to their teenage sons and daughters through this tumultuous journey called adolescence, creating harmony where there is discord.

  1. Recognise that how you feel is a necessary (& temporary) phase
  2. Stress is a common part of adolescence. Some stress is good because it makes us do things. Too much is not.
  3. Seek help - you might get the answers you’re looking for from the right person
  4. Be kind to yourself - give yourself small rewards
  5. Realise that depression makes you see things differently to reality
  6. Don’t use alcohol, drugs or tobacco to make you feel better
  7. Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins found in fortified cereals, rice, nuts, milk, eggs, meats, fish, fruits and leafy green vegetables.
  8. Exercise is good - ask a friend to encourage you, you’ll feel better for it.
  9. Stick to the same bedtime routine, the brain links the same activity with going to bed
  10. By the time you reach 17 you’ll hopefully be thinking rationally and making sensible decisions