Monday, October 1, 2012

The Teenage Brain

As often happens after we view an excerpt of this documentary in class, I got requests from my students to post this for parents. Today in class we watched the first few segments of Frontline's Inside the Teenage Brain, a great program highlighting recent neuroscience research that suggest explanations for many typical teenage behaviors (e.g., staying up late at night and sleeping in mornings, taking risks that make their parents uncomfortable, miscommunicating with adults...etc.)

The entire program is available for viewing online (Windows Media and RealPlayer users, try here) and its companion site has numerous links to more information that may be helpful for both parents and teenagers.

The short version of the program's message is that the adolescent brain is still developing, and parents may be able to respond with more empathy to the sometimes frustrating behaviors of their teens if they know some things about this process. While we have to exercise caution when attempting to translate neuroscience research into prescriptions for parenting or teaching, the conversation about teen brain development is an important one, and parents may actually find it quite uplifting.

Those looking for additional resources might want to try these links:

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