Anyone who has raised a teenager knows, even without going to medical school, that their brains are not yet completely developed. Some may wonder if their teen even has one. Having raised six children, I can relate. I had those thoughts too. Our six are within a six-year spread; three girls and three boys. Crazy! In fact, there were times that I understood why some mammals eat their young. But I promise, those of you still raising these budding adults will reach the time where you to will laugh, along with them, about those teen years. We have, and it’s just so wonderful and fun.
Believe it or not, science supports the desperate questions we ask our teens while flailing our arms in the air, “Why didn’t you think before you did that? Is there a brain in that head of yours?” Well, yes, there is a brain in there, but it’s not yet fully functioning. The teenage brain is still under construction. Smart people in white lab coats have discovered that the frontal lobe of the brain, the center that controls thinking, planning, organizing and problem solving, emotions, behavioral control, and personality, is not fully developed in the teenage children we love so very much. And in fact, it will not be fully so until those daughters are 25 and those sons are 27. (I don’t know if knowing this brings relief to you in some way or whether you are now slumped down in a chair exhausted at the thought of the years ahead until the structure between your teen’s ears is complete. It’s probably a blend of both.) Continue reading