The changes we see in our kids when they hit adolescence can leave many of us with a sense of whiplash. The tiny adorable humans who wanted to us to read to them, sing to them, cuddle them, kiss them goodbye at parties, at some point become … different. Loved, wonderful, funny, creative – but different, in a way that’s not so tiny or adorable. And don’t even joke about kissing them goodbye at parties. Or anywhere else where there might be people.
We blame raging hormones, lack of sleep, friends, ‘that show’ they’ve been watching, social media. Then there are the days – plenty of them – that we blame ourselves, wondering what we did or didn’t do that could possibly explain what’s going on.
What’s going on is adolescence. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. The changes they are going through are all being driven by a brain that is undergoing a massive renovation. It has to be this way to get them ready to be healthy, strong, productive, happy adults.
If you can understand what is happening in their brains, what they are doing will make sense. You’ll still find yourself baffled, angry, bewildered, sad – all of those things – but hopefully less than you would otherwise. You’re building humans, great ones, and as with anything that is worth the effort, it won’t always run to schedule, it definitely won’t look the way you thought it would, and some days – probably plenty – it will be a red hot mess.
In the same way they will wobble and fall when they are little people learning to walk and master their physical selves, they will also wobble and fall as their brains take develop into the adult forms. Keeping this in mind will help things run smoother.
The Changes that Every Adolescent Will go Through
Adolescence – the apprenticeship for adulthood.
The changes in the brain during adolescence are dramatic. They have to be – the transition from childhood to adulthood wouldn’t happen without some serious neural remodelling. During adolescence, they will be driven to experiment with the world and their place in it, try new things (important for their new adult roles), let go of the family and seek out peers, form strong social connections and think independently. Every one of these changes is there to fulfil an important developmental role and bridge the vast gap they will travel between childhood and adulthood. The results will be worth it but like any renovation, things will get messy for a while.
(To read more of this article, follow the link below…)