They’ll Do What? The What and the Why of the Changes that Come With Adolescence, by Karen Young


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

  1. 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…)

Teens & Sleep – A Beautiful Union, But What’s Getting in the Way? by Karen Young


Quality pillow time – blissful, uninterrupted and long enough – is vital for all of us. For teens and tweens, their brains are growing like never before and sleep is critical to power this process along. They all have it in them to set the world on fire, and they’ll find their own way to do that, but for that to happen, they need sleep. And plenty of it. So what are most of them doing before they they fall asleep that’s getting in the way?

Recent research from Brown University has found that the light from phones or tablets could be disrupting teens’ sleep by suppressing a key hormone that controls the timing of sleep.

Light exposure can delay the time that anyone falls asleep, but teens and tweens are particularly vulnerable. This extent of the vulnerability seems to depend on the stage of puberty they are at.

Children and adolescents aged 9 to 15 who are in the earlier stages of puberty seem to be particularly vulnerable to the effects of light before bed, compared to those 11 to 16 year olds who are further along the puberty path.

(To read more of this article, follow the link below…)