As adults, we want to treat teenagers as adults. However, we forget that physiologically, teenagers have limitation due to the simple fact that their brains are still ‘under construction’! One of the best descriptions of a teen’s brain that I’ve come across is by Molly Edmonds:
“For comparison’s sake, think of the teenage brain as an entertainment center that hasn’t been fully hooked up. There are loose wires, so that the speaker system isn’t working with the DVD player, which in turn hasn’t been formatted to work with the television yet. And to top it all off, the remote control hasn’t even arrived!”
So, how do you deal with this contraption above? As an adult, you just need to be aware of the fact. You have to adapt your expectations for someone (a teen) whose decision-making abilities aren’t fully formed in coupe with a strong desire for rewards and a hormonal need for the adrenaline rush. Hence, teens engage in risky behaviors, make poor choices, and postpone thinking of consequences.
I suggest simple step-by-step rules, choosing your battles, and lots of routines. You, as an adult, must remain the calm one and the reasonable one in all situations. I know it gets difficult at times, when your teen towers above you a few inches, and you just assume that he/she is a ‘grown man/woman” but in reality, it’s just not the case! So stay calm, and carry on your parenting!