Teenagers are insightful, funny, caring, and interesting people. But they can also be moody, self-conscious, and anxious. Their teenage brain is going through a lot of changes, which means their emotions are on overdrive! Teenagers have the highest risk of developing anxiety and depression at this time in their lives due to their changing brain chemistry and the pressures from school, social media, and parents. The good news is that we can help them cope with the challenges by understanding more about how the teen brain works. This blog post explores why teenagers act the way they do and what you can do to support them. With this knowledge, you’ll understand your teenager better as well as know how best to help them succeed in life.
Here are 4 things you need to know about the teen brain.
1) Mental disorders tend to manifest during adolescence
Teenagers can be vulnerable to mental health problems because of their continuous brain, physical, emotional, and social changes. As a result of all the significant changes in the brain during adolescence, many mental disorders can develop, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and eating disorders.
2) Stress may be more prevalent in teen brains
Teens may be more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression related to stress because the teenage brain is still developing. Teenagers can cope with stress and reduce it by practicing mindfulness, which is the cognitive process of paying attention to the present moment.
3) Teenagers need more sleep than adults or children
Research indicates that teens naturally have higher melatonin levels in the blood later at night and lower melatonin levels in the morning than most children and adults. Teenagers may be affected by this difference, which may explain why many of them have difficulty getting up in the morning and staying up late. In most cases, teens do not get enough sleep, as they should sleep between nine and ten hours a night. It is possible to experience difficulty paying attention, increased impulsivity, or increased irritability or depression due to inadequate sleep.
Also Read: Why Adequate Sleep Is Important For Students
4) Emotions of teens
It is important to note that teenage brains are still developing, which plays a role in how teens perceive and express emotions. Often, teenagers show their raw emotions to their parents. Many parents have also noticed their teenagers behaving in emotionally extreme ways, such as extreme anger, sadness, anxiety, etc. Biological factors are at play here due to the development of the teenage brain. Teenage emotions are driven by identity development. People’s perception of them is directly linked to what their closest peers think. The opinions of their friends are always the most important thing to teenagers. Teenagers are, therefore, highly sensitive to social exclusion and experience a heightened sense of embarrassment.
Is there anything parents can do?
- Keep your thoughts positive and encourage your children to do the same. Promoting rational thinking skills is your main objective.
- Your child should always be able to talk to you about their problems. Avoid judging them or asking them questions that would lead them to believe you do not understand them.
- If you don’t advise them when they ask for your help, they won’t consult you anymore.
- Instill healthy habits and a lifestyle in your children by encouraging them to sleep well, engage in physical activity, play games, take adventures, learn through experience, and study. The only thing you should not do, however, is forcing your children to do these things, as this will make them feel pressured.
- Linking impulsive thinking to facts can be achieved by discussing the consequences of their actions. By doing this, the brain is encouraged to make these connections more often and is wired to do so.
- Make sure your teens know they are capable and resilient. Adolescents have trouble understanding how to change a bad situation because they’re so focused on the present. Reminding them of past events they thought would be devastating can be helpful.
- Get to know what your teens value. Taking an interest in the things they’re involved in doesn’t mean you have to like hip-hop music, but it shows them that you care about them.
- Teenagers may want you to respond to their problems or listen if they come to you with problems.
Also Read: Competitiveness in Education: Good or Bad?
Although teens are generally able to think and reason well, they may struggle with emotional and social development. Many factors contribute to the emotional and social growth of teens, including their family, school, and peers. Although teenagers may have difficulty expressing their emotions, this is not a sign that they cannot do so. If your teen is struggling with emotional or behavioral issues, you may want to seek help from a medical professional to assess their situation and help find the best solution.