Fuming with anger, sick with worry or just plain bewildered? You’re probably living with a thrill-seeking, risk-embracing teenager, simultaneously capable of precocious wisdom and incredibly foolish choices. Though teen transgressions like driving too fast, skipping curfew or choosing delinquent pals may seem like personal affronts, this behavior may have very little to do with you at all, says Temple University psychology professor and researcher Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D. According to Steinberg, teens act differently because their brains are, in fact, different.
Remember junior high school? Those happy years when childhood starts to melt away and the promise of being a teenager sits on the horizon? With changes in height, voice, skin and hair, we watch our children as they are initiated into the wonderful world of hormonal change. But junior high is about more than hanging out at the mall and dealing with parents who are no longer cool in the eyes of their kids. Being in junior high school also means rising expectations, both in the areas of academics and personal responsibility.
My 12-year-old daughter came home from school and announced that she was the only one staying home for spring break this year. She went on to tell me how bored she would be, how lucky her friends were and how she would be stuck at home doing nothing. Poor girl! Contrary to what your tweens and teens think, not everyone goes on a spring break vacation. Finances, parent’s vacation time and recent holiday travel are some of the reasons that a second vacation is not possible.
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