Do you have an adolescence or teen in your household? What if you have more than one? Oh my! If that is true, I hope you take the time for a little 'R & R' (research & restraint). Your child is about to experience one of the most confusing and frustrating times in their human development - and it may last for years!
LOOKING BACKI used to joke when my daughters were teens, "If I could just put them in a brown paper bag when they turned 13 and take them back out in about 3 years, they would be beginning to act like human beings again." All joking aside, I was quite wrong in the number of years that teen changes were beginning and ending. Research tells us today that teen development likely begins at the onset of puberty, which in fact could be as early as 10 and even younger in some children. In other words, the age of puberty continues to become earlier and earlier in children as time goes by.
THE BRAIN IS CHANGING TOO
There is a second area in the brain called the limbic system. Think of it as a lookout for the brain searching for things that could be considered an emotional benefit or risk - most important, the limbic is constantly looking for things considered rewarding. The limbic sends a message to the prefrontal cortex which analyzes the message and decides what to do next. But, what if there is no decision of what to do next? (The limbic is not able to do the work of the prefrontal cortex.)
WHAT DOES ALL THAT MEAN?The prefrontal cortex is developing during the teen years and cannot always take in all the messages coming from the limbic. Think of it as a version of limbic overload, that allows the rest of the brain to react in ways such as impulsiveness, poor reasoning, aggression, and susceptibility to other teens and their behaviors - some of which may not good. These stressful situations can be a fast path to limbic overload.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO AS A PARENT?Read everything you can get your hands on and not be afraid of professional advice for better parenting skills.
Last... be patient! Control your own decision-making and remain calm.