Teens need parental guidance, even though they may think they don’t. Understanding their development can help you support them in becoming independent, responsible adults. We know that the part of the brain primarily responsible for weighing the consequences of possible courses of actions, for monitoring and inhibiting impulses, and for delaying gratification (for example) doesn’t fully develop until adulthood (early- to mid-twenties); adolescents don’t have the same tools to make decisions as fully developed adults!

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Decision-Making: The impact on the teen brain.

Below are some easy steps you can use to support decision-making at home:

 

1. Ask your student about a challenge they are having at school or with a peer;

2. Help them generate potential solutions to their problem;

3. Talk through possible “pros” and “cons” of the solutions generated;

4. Encourage them to select a positive solution and help them come up with a plan to try it out

 

There are times when adolescents may not want to discuss personal problems with their parents at home. If you sense that your student needs additional support navigating an issue, but won’t talk to you about it, there are other resources that teens can access. Parents can encourage their children to speak to someone if they believe they need additional help problem-solving a situation:

– Another family member

– A trusted teacher

– An adult coach or mentor

– School-based counselors, social workers, or psychologists

For help and more information, contact:
Lauren McArdle, Ph.D., District 95 at 847-540-4973
or Sara Marx, LCPC, NCC, Ela Township at 847-540-8380