If you have a toddler, their behavior is a little unpredictable. However, once you understand how emotions work and use tools for connection, the relationship becomes… quite predictable.
If you have a 12+ year old, things become even more unpredictable, for different reasons. Between 12 and 24 year old, the human brain is going through a revolutionary transformation. It was compared to a “second birth”, by some authors.
In his book, Brainstorm – The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, Daniel Siegel writes:
“During the teenage years, our minds change in the way we remember, think, reason, focus attention, make decisions and relate to others. From around age of twelve to twenty- four, there is a burst of growth and maturation taking place as never before in our lives. […] Brain changes during the early teen years set up four qualities of our minds during adolescence: novelty seeking, social engagement, increased emotional intensity and creative exploration. There are changes in the fundamental circuits of the brain that make adolescence different from childhood. These changes affect how teens seek rewards in trying new things, connect with their peers […] and push back on the existing ways of doing things to create new ways of being in the world”
This age period is as confusing to your child, as it is confusing to you. On one hand, they push us away; on another hand, they pull us in – as needed. As parents, we need to learn to dance this dance of push teeagers need us the most.
Think of it as : “Go away, but stay close because I am scared (and I don’t know that I am scared).”
Tips if you have a tween or teen:
- stay close enough to be available, and to observe from a distance;
- don’t take anything personally;
- get educated- literally; get a class on this age group; Hand in Hand Parenting has a wonderful class on Tweens and Teens;
- prioritize their sleep; anything under 8 hours per night is not enough;
- don’t get hung up in grades and academics; work as a team with your teen;
- BE AN ALLY, ON THE SAME TEAM. It pays off later.
The Movement is a full day retreat with access to expert healers, coaches, and mindfulness facilitators. I will be the Conscious Parenting Coach at the event. If you live in Miami, please check the link for more info. Email or DM- me for a discounted ticket.