Inside the teenage brain

Last night my teenager had sore shoulders from sunburn despite being sent to the beach with 2 bottles of sunscreen, anyway she asks me can she put something cold on her shoulders. Despite the fact we have several frozen gel packs ready for just such emergencies, this morning I find a squished bag of defrosted baby peas next to her bed. Peas for the next 4 meals..sigh.

Before I start shouting I remind myself what goes on inside the teenage brain – they have underdeveloped pre-frontal lobes. They cannot understand the full implications of any decisions they make. The latest research shows: Girls develop this by 21 and Boys only by 25.. Note to me :- they do not think like me, they cannot think like me, count from 10 backwards… never helped before but will try 🙂

teenage brain development stage

During adolescence, the brain begins its final stages of maturation and continues to rapidly
develop well into a person’s early 20s, concluding around the age of 25.5
• The prefrontal cortex, which governs the “executive functions” of reasoning, advanced thought
and impulse control, is the final area of the human brain to mature.
• Adolescents generally seek greater risks for various social, emotional and physical reasons,
including changes in the brain’s neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, which influence memory,
concentration, problem-solving and other mental functions. Dopamine is not yet at its most
effective level in adolescence.7
• Adolescents commonly experience “reward-deficiency syndrome,” which means they are no
longer stimulated by activities that thrilled them as younger children. Thus, they often engage in
activities of greater risk and higher stimulation in efforts to achieve similar levels of excitement.
• Adolescents must rely heavily on the parts of the brain that house the emotional centers when
making decisions, because the frontal regions of their brains are not fully developed.


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