Understanding the teenage brain
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Anyone with a teenager knows the sweet adorable years of childhood where they idolize everything you do can often be replaced by, "I know so much more than you".
Well there is a reason for all of this and it comes down to their brain which is definitely a work in progress.
Bridget Grady picked up her 17-year-old daughter Kieran from school on Staten Island and wondered: what sort of teenage drama can we expect today?
"And it could be anything from, 'I can't find my jeans' to 'I need money for a trip,' you know, anything," Grady said.
Grady's experience is no different from millions of other parents of teenagers: adolescents who possess titanic mood swings; who engage in risky behavior; who fail to consider the consequences of their decisions.
And that leaves parents asking the often futile question, 'what were you thinking?!'
"A lot of what they do is not thought out. They don't anticipate the consequences. They don't anticipate the fact that what they are doing could impact them later on. And they often simply do it because at the moment it seemed like a good idea," said Dr. Alan Hilfer, Chief Psychologist, Maimonides Medical Center.
So as a parent, how then do you plant some common sense into a teenager's still developing brain? Dr. Hilfer, thankfully, has some advice.
#1: Engage your teen in a discussion, not a lecture; about how and why they might do things differently the next time around.
#2: In that discussion parents, get to the point. Don't drone on endlessly. Believe it or not, your son or daughter heard you the first time.
"Oh my God, all the time. It's kind of like, 'Clean your room. Clean your room. Clean your room. Do this. Hold that.' It's always the same," Kieran Grady said.
#3: Keep a close eye on who your teenager is friends with.
"If you are in a more reckless peer group, you are trying to up the ante and improve on a friend's behavior and sometimes that's what gets kids into trouble," Dr. Hilfer said.
Staying out of trouble is really the goal for teens, even if their brains are still developing.
teenager, teen, health news, joe torres
- Snowstorm moves into New York area
- Live: Eyewitness News on 7online streamed live!
- Get WATCH ABC for your mobile device
- iWitness Photos and Videos 46 min ago
- Photos: Viewer snow storm pictures 46 min ago
- Photos: AccuWeather Forecast in pictures
- NJ Transit trains back on schedule after earlier delays
- Snow coming down in New York City 24 min ago
- New Jersey getting hit with another dose of snow 12 min ago
- Snow falling on Long Island 7 min ago
- World leaders, South Africans honor Mandela at memorial
- Woman beaten up, robbed on Harlem subway platform
- Driver killed in Queens after crashing into storefront
- Photos: Nelson Mandela Memorial Service
- Snow coming down in New York City
24 min ago
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos