Teen Brain - Accelarator Without Breaks
- By Sam George
- Published 02/14/2008
Sam George is the Executive Director of PARIVAR International - a non-profit initiative to address the needs of youth and families of Asian Indian origin in North America and to the Asian Indian community worldwide. Parivar means family in many Indian languages. Sam George also serves as one of the founding directors of Urban India Ministries
www.UrbanIndia.org Sam George and his wife, Mary have spoken at premarital and family events in many countries. They are parents of two boys and make their home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Sam is the author of the book “Understanding the Coconut Generation: Ministry to the Americanized Asian Indians." Check out this website www.CoconutGeneration.com Coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside) is a metaphor for the Americanized Asian Indians. Sam George can be reached at email@example.com
Teen brain is is like a car with a good accelerator but a weak brake. With powerful impulses and without proper control, teens are likely to crash! Which is some of the findings of a new research on how adolescent brain works.
Parents and youth workers have always known this. Teenagers may grow into adult bodies, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually they may not be mature yet and might not exhibit any signs of responsible adulthood yet. Whether it be sexual experimentation, use of drugs, media consumption and gun culture, effect of accelarator without break can be seen.
Research confirmed that during mid teen years, kids are more impulsive and aggressive, emotionally volatile, likely to take risks, reactive to stress and vulnerable to peer pressure. They are also more prone to focus on and overestimate short-term payoffs and underplay longer-term consequences of what they do (no delayed gratification). They are less likely to explore alternative courses of action.
A safe and secure home environment is key to navigate them through this tumultous and potentially dangerous season of life. A healthy neighborhood and a community of faith is key to the adolescent development. Parents and youth leaders need to work together for the sake of kids. Each can do what the other cannot. In some circles the growing suscpion of each other turns out to be more harmful for healthy development of teens.
Check out these books - Family based youth ministry by Mark DeVries or God bearing Life by Kenda Dean.