Posts tagged ‘brain development’

March 8, 2012

risk vs. reward

As we learn more about the human brain & its development, we can apply more effective parenting & teaching strategies to help kids mature.  Inspiration & information for today’s blog comes from:  National Geographic’s October 2011 article Beautiful Brains by David Dobbs.  Another fabulous, entertaining article full of relevant & eloquently written discoveries.

Starting with points we know & have now been proven via MRI science & studies.  Adolescence can be:

  • emotional, trying
  • a risk taking era
  • a time when social interactions greatly influence motivation & behavior
  • full of inconsistent behavior

From age 12 thru 25, “….brains undergo a massive reorganization…”  “…as we move through adolescence, the brain undergoes extensive remodeling, resembling a network & wiring upgrade.”  The brain “upgrade” directly impacts performance, behaviors, etc..  Plus, positive or negative (stress, fatigue) variables add another layer to behaviors & decisions.  Other points to keep in mind:

  • teens tend to have a high regard for reward gleaned from taking a risk even though they may realize the consequences on a cognitive level (ie. they’re not stupid)
  • risk taking with success contributes to being able to adapt
  • the brain matures from back to front

Basic Parts of Brain

Switching gears…consider the following important fact:

“The United States spends about a billion dollars a year on programs to counsel adolescents on violence, gangs, suicide, sex, substance abuse, & other potential pitfalls. Few of them work.”

HUH.  Are you surprised?  What has the greatest impact on kids?  PARENTING!

  • share the brain development process with kids
  • guide children, do not helicopter parent
  • connect with kids & encourage independence
  • have patience!!
  • let kids fail..it is the best way to learn & the perfect lab to exercise  adaptation skills
  • remember that building social relationships is key to their success now & in the future

“Heredity is what sets the parents of a teenager wondering about each other.”  ~Laurence J. Peter

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: