Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

From time to time you’ve probably wondered why your teenager tends to act so impulsive. As you read on you will not just understand more about your teenagers brain, you will also learn about your own brain. And why you have formed certain good/bad habits over time.

1. The Teenage Impulse

Teenagers tend to be impulsive and lack great decision making as they have not developed there pre-frontal cortex completely yet. The pre-frontal cortex is the part of your brain that sits behind the forehead and for most people your brain doesn’t fully develop until you’re in your late 20s. This part of your brain controls your decision making and impulse control.

2. Why Are They So Addicted? The Affects Of Dopamine

Our brains consist of 3 neurotransmitters. Dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin. Dopamine is the feel excited feel good type hormone. And that’s one of the most dangerous in the sense that it gives us reward for activities. So if you have an achievement, you get a dopamine surge in your brain. This makes you want to then repeat that behavior. In a sense it also is the one that can lead to negative problems with addictions. So whether or not it’s social media, drugs, smoking, gambling, pornography. All of these things will give you pleasure. And the moment you get pleasure, that reinforces more dopamine, and that behavior then becomes a positive feedback cycle.

3. Oxytocin, The Reason We Need To Be Loved

Oxytocin is what they call the cuddle hormone, or love hormone. For example, if you’ve had to cuddle someone for about 20 seconds or so, that releases oxytocin, which makes you feel like that you feel loved. And that’s why it’s so important this for babies to have a lot of skin contact with the mother. It develops an oxytocin release both in the child and in the in the mother.

4. Serotonin, The Feeling Good Hormone

Serotonin is the feel good, feel safe type hormone. And that’s the one that if you have a deficiency of you tend to become depressed. Anxiety and depression can be related to that. So one of the important things is to naturally optimise these (Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin) neurotransmitters.

5. Focus Determines Destiny

What you actually focus and think about, can determine the way your life travels. The reason why is because thoughts will stimulate actions and actions may stimulate habits. Habits repeated become character, which you may think of it as developing virtues. Good character repeated can actually determine your destiny.

6. The Quality Of Your Life Is Determined By The Quality Of Your Emotions

One thing you can pass onto your teenager and tell them is that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your emotions. If you can control your emotions, you can control your actions, if you can control your actions you can control your habits. If you can control your habits you can control your life.

This article was inspired by episode #29 of The Parent-Teacher Project entitled What’s Happening Inside Your Teenagers Brain? with Dr. Robin Choong and Nathan Frazer.

Listen to the entire episode below.

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