Category Archives: Teen brain

Groove – A Device That Can Prevent Texting While Driving

In the U.S. every year, texting while driving causes 1.6 million auto crashes 500,000 injuries 6,000 deaths According to the article, “Rocket scientist’s idea could put an end to texting while driving” by Gabriel Noble, “Texting while driving has replaced … Continue reading

The 12 Most Important Insights for Parenting Teens

A common question from parents: “There’s so much advice out there, a lot of it is conflicting. What should I focus on? What’s most important?” Over the years, I’ve read most of the classic books on parenting, and I’ve given … Continue reading

Justin Bieber and Dennis Rodman – What These Two Men Have in Common

Poor Justin Bieber. I read that he was arrested, forced to wear a jump suit and photographed for a mug shot because he was drag-racing in Miami in a rented Lamborghini. Oh, and he failed a sobriety test, DUI for … Continue reading

A Powerful Parenting Skill – Get Kids to Think for Themselves

My wife, Kathleen Scott,  contributes regularly to the San Antonio Express-News Travel section and sometimes to the Food section. She also is working on a third draft of a mystery novel. I think it’s remarkable that she made a successful … Continue reading

Kid Hacks His Education, Hacks His Life

You’ll want to watch this video all the way through. This 13-year-old boy is amazing. You’ll wonder how young Logan LaPlante could become so smart, so articulate, so mature, and so happy after only one year of adolescence! As you … Continue reading

Build a Bot, Train a Brain

What if there were a teen extracurricular activity that was fun, wholesome, kept kids off the streets and the couch, while permanently wiring their brains for critical thinking, problem solving and social skills? And oh yeah, I forgot… and a … Continue reading

Critical Thinking – What It Really Is and Why You Should Care

These days, parents are hearing about the “teen brain” in the popular media. The message is that the “prefrontal cortex,” the area of the brain in charge of critical thinking, is still under construction – that this a big reason … Continue reading

Forget Halloween. Here’s Something Really Scary – Rebellious Teenagers

For this post I’ve included an interesting video. Or maybe you’ll find it a shocking video. Watch it all the way through. Don’t click off just because it’s disgusting. The clips were recorded by the teens themselves. There are thousands … Continue reading

Over 300 Teens Trash Retired NFL Player’s Home – And Do Untold Damage to Themselves

I read a disturbing news report posted by NPR. You should check it out. And especially check out the victim’s website… The victim was former New England Patriots pro football player, Brian Holloway (1981-1988). While he was visiting Florida, his … Continue reading

From Boys to Men – Tales of Two Adolescents

Recently I attended a large family reunion and talked to a lot of young people I hadn’t met before. The conversations I had with two different 22-year-old young men left me wondering. Shane seemed like a loner in this crowd. … Continue reading

1 Million Adolescent Suicide Attempts Per Year

Recently a huge tornado devastated a small town in Oklahoma, killing 24 people. Stories and images of the destruction were all over the Internet, the newspapers and television news. The coverage reminded me of when in early June, 1966, I … Continue reading

From Teen to Adult – Take Luck Out of the Equation

I’ve written often about how important it is for teens to work on exercising the critical thinking part of their brain (for connecting the dots, analysis, judgment, self-control and decision-making). Parents need to know that this part of the brain … Continue reading

The True Horror of Spring Break

The women were carrying dishes into the kitchen. Woody grinned, cocking his head towards the study. “I want you to see something,” he said. Woody sat behind his desk and pointed the remote at the TV. Cody settled into a … Continue reading

Free Resources – Help Your Teen Wire a Smart Brain

Every time a teenager tries to figure out why something happened, tries to understand the relationship between thing A and thing B, tries to see the connection between cause and effect, foresees possible consequences, evaluates options, solves problems and consciously … Continue reading

Many Parents Avoid Frank Talks with Their Teens – For Good Reasons

I’ve written two books, Conversations with the Wise Uncle (for boys) and Conversations with the Wise Aunt (for girls). Both are fictional accounts about an older relative mentoring a young person during the teen years to give the child a “heads up” … Continue reading

Breakthrough Insights about Teens – The Untold Story

I was once a West Point graduate who became a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army. After that I became an expert in adult learning, focusing on how skills and knowledge are created in the brain. But then what happened? … Continue reading

My New YouTube Channel – For Adults Who Care About Youth

I have a new YouTube channel called Strong for Parenting. It will share short, information-dense videos for parents of teens and other youth mentors. My first video,  “Give Your Teen A Superior Mind,” packs a lot of powerful info in less than … Continue reading

My Interview with Lon Woodbury of LA Talk Radio – What Parents Can Do to Help Wire Their Teen’s Brain for Critical Thinking

Lon Woodbury (LA Talk Radio) and I had a great discussion about the teen brain (to listen or download, scroll down to January 28, 2013). I talked about the big changes going on in the pre-frontal cortex (PFC), the last area of the … Continue reading

Bad Judgment – The Peril of Adolescence

In this space I’ve often written about how the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the part of the brain that exercises judgment, is “under construction” during adolescence. And that the only way to wire this area more extensively – to produce a … Continue reading

Change the Game – Help Your Teen Become Strong for Success

You know who Tiger Woods is. It’s impossible to imagine anyone on the planet who doesn’t. At the age of 37, he’s already a legend. He stormed onto the PGA tour 16 years ago, and a few months later he shocked the golfing … Continue reading

Child Brain Development – Hardware, Software, and Data

These days, a  hot topic for parents: teen brain development. Books have been written about it. Nearly every magazine that a parent might read, including National Geographic, has had an article about it. I have written extensively about it. But … Continue reading

Interview with Chris Efessiou – How to Empower the Developing Teen Brain

Here is the recording of my conversation with Chris Efessiou, author of the excellent parenting book, Chief Daddy Officer. In it I reveal some scary things most parents don’t know about their teenagers. For example,  that the developing brains of teenagers … Continue reading

Teenagers vs. Adolescents – A Heads-Up for Parents

Most parents think of their child as “officially” an adolescent when they technically become a teenager on their 13th birthday. And they think their project of raising the child to adulthood is pretty much over after high school, when most … Continue reading

West Point Ingrained My Critical Thinking Skills

When I was in high school, I got an A in every subject I ever took. I didn’t find out until later that I hadn’t learned as much as I thought. But man, I knew how to make A’s! My … Continue reading

Study: Using Marijuana Can Make Teens Stupid – Permanently

A new study has concluded that teenagers who smoke pot suffer a significant drop in IQ that persists even if they stop smoking it later in life. The article doesn’t explain why, except for this statement by lead researcher Madeline Meier … Continue reading

Playing Chess Can Boost Your Child’s Intellect – Permanently

If you’ve followed my blog, you know I often write about adolescence as the sensitive time of life during which a child’s brain can be wired for basic critical thinking skills. The window of opportunity opens at puberty and closes … Continue reading

Why Parents Need a Better Book about the Teen Brain

I’ve been writing about the teen brain for several years now, and I’m currently gathering the most important insights into a book for parents. I’m doing this knowing that during the past eight to ten years dozens of articles and … Continue reading

Will Watching Violent Video Games Affect Your Teen’s Behavior?

An issue has been preoccupying my mind – young people who watch violent video games. In the entertainment world, the video game business is much bigger than the movie industry, with more than $10 billion spent on video game devices … Continue reading

Your Child Can Develop a Brilliant Mind – Or not…

The human brain has dozens and dozens of areas that perform special tasks. While a baby is born with a complete brain, it’s like a brand new computer with no software and no data. So throughout childhood, the outer layer … Continue reading

The 3 Most Powerful Ways to Give Your Teen An Edge in Life

It’s amazing what you see when you step outside the box. I’ve been focusing on the special challenge of raising teenagers for over a year now, and I’ve been outside the box the whole time. Inside the box, you understand … Continue reading

Will a Teen Decide Based on Reason, Habit, or Emotion?

I consider myself a serious thinker. But to be honest, I’m not an intellectual. I’m biased towards action. I have a Ph.D., but 95% of what I know today I learned on my own after earning that degree. So seemingly … Continue reading

Teen Suicide – What Can a Parent Do to Prevent It?

Johann Eyfells, portrait by Kristin Eyfells Not long ago I was sitting at a table drinking coffee and talking with Johann Eyfells, the world-famous Icelandic sculptor. At some point, I used the word “luck.” He quickly seized on the word. … Continue reading

The Story Behind the “Wise Uncle” and “Wise Aunt” Books

For quite a while now, I’ve felt that the kind of personal development that we encourage with adults should begin during the teen years, if not before – that in fact the adult learners we serve with programs like ProStar … Continue reading

Reading Will Help Your Teen Develop a Fine Mind

I have a friend whose dad had a personal library of several thousand books. When my friend was about ten years old, his dad enrolled him in a speed-reading course. Soon afterward, he began reading the classics of world literature. … Continue reading

I Recall My Own Teenage Years – Some Surprises

A few years ago, I had a reunion with some old high school buddies that I hadn’t seen in nearly 50 years. It was an amazing experience and a lot of fun. But I remember one comment my old friend … Continue reading

The Brain Talk – A Young Girl Learns What’s Happening in Her Teen Brain

I’m just guessing, but it may be true that no teenager in the long history of planet Earth has ever been given “the brain talk,” even though it’s probably the most important information a teen can have. Nevertheless, imagine a … Continue reading

What Sowing Wild Oats Is All About

A friend once told me a story about his older brother. My friend was a top student and multi-sport athlete in high school, and he eventually got a football scholarship and later had a successful career as an executive. His … Continue reading

Teens, Alcohol, and Brain Damage

This post is mainly for parents of kids aged 10-25. But if you’re a grandparent, a coach, a teacher, or involved in programs that help teens, you should read this, too. I’ve written several posts – mostly directed at parents … Continue reading

Dr. David Walsh’s “Why Do They Act That Way?” – 4 Basics for Parenting Teens

Do you have a teenager in your life? I ask this question a lot these days, because a lot of people are in this situation. And a young person’s developmental experience during the 12-15 year period called adolescence has become … Continue reading

A Quick, Simple Overview of the Human Brain

Often when I write adolescence I make reference to a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. To help you appreciate where that part of the brain is and what it does, I’ll give you a quick guided tour of … Continue reading

Conversations with the Wise Aunt

Not many parents feel comfortable talking to their kids about sex and other momentous topics. There’s a lot of ground to cover, and parents know they’re not experts on every subject. Besides, times have changed, and they remember their own … Continue reading

Why Do Teens Act That Way? – Three Revealing Video Clips

I’m putting in a lot of time right now checking facts about what’s going on in the teen brain. As I’ve written elsewhere, it’s a confusing time for a teen because the part of the brain that does cause-and-effect thinking, … Continue reading

Conversations with the Wise Uncle

Not many parents feel comfortable talking to their kids about sex and other momentous topics. There’s a lot of ground to cover, and parents know they’re not experts on every subject. Besides, times have changed, and they remember their own … Continue reading

What’s Happening in the Developing Teen Brain

In another post I described the phases of child brain growth. At each phase, different areas of the brain are developed. Two important things happen during each phase – blossoming and pruning. Dendrites are the tiny filaments on a brain … Continue reading