Tag Archives: teen brain

Moment to Moment: Teens Growing Up with FASDs

FASD stands for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: a variety of permanent birth defects caused by the mother’s consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. The mother consumes alcohol, the substance travels to the womb, where it can disrupt normal development of the … Continue reading

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

My Top 5 List of What Parents Can Give Their Adolescent Children

Nearly every parent knows that growing kids need unconditional love. And of course young children are powerless and innocent about most things, so they need our support for food, shelter, security, clothes, medical care, etc. A big theme of my … 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

Effective Communication Skills – The Game-Changer for Parents of Teenagers

Teenagers know they’re growing up, and they don’t like being treated like little kids. They need the wisdom and guidance of parents and other adults. But they hate lectures, sarcasm, put-downs, screaming, commands, threats, ultimatums, shaming, judging, and blaming. Don’t … Continue reading

Bye-Bye Dirty Dozen, Hello 7 Key Parent-Child Communication Skills

For me, the best book ever written about parent-child communication was Dr. Thomas Gordon’s P.E.T. – Parent Effectiveness Training, a 1975 classic that is still widely used today. It isn’t easy to raise kids. Sometimes they’re sweet and adorable. But … 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

The Danger of Teen Substance Abuse – Permanent Brain Damage

Doctors always warn expectant mothers not to use alcohol, drugs or tobacco during pregnancy. By now, the reasons why are common knowledge. Here’s an excerpt from WebMD.com: “Taking drugs during pregnancy also increases the chance of birth defects, premature babies, … Continue reading

Parents – How and Why Teens Risk Their Futures and Their Lives

From Tina Marconi of BabySitters.net, we have this timely guest post that gives parents a heads-up about adolescent risk-taking and the horrendous consequences. Taking healthy risks is an essential aspect of childhood development, and is one of the best ways … 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

Puberty – The Lost Passage from Child to Adult

The goal of parenting a teenager:  to help the child mature into a responsible, happy, successful adult. Even parents who consciously keep this goal in mind often have an awful time dealing with teen emotion, rebellion, risk-taking and substance abuse. … 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

Dad Gets Lucky – Gives Sons Christmas Present with Profound Permanent Consequences

It was the Christmas of 1982, and my boys were 10 and 12 years old. I didn’t think twice about what to give them. It just seemed like a great idea at the time – identical Commodore 64 personal computers. … 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

When Adolescents Get Drunk – Permanent Brain Damage

Drinking alcohol with the expressed purpose of getting wasted? Believe it or not, this is mostly an activity practiced by kids. Watch this brief video… What can a parent do? In a calm, non-threatening, supportive way, tell the child about … 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

Strong for Parenting Podcast site is launched!

I recently posted about the concept of “conscious parenting.” I stated that many parents experience life with their children on a day-to-day basis, without thinking about the goals, processes, strengths and skills involved in parenting an adolescent. They may be … 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

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

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

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

A Huge Turning Point in the Life of a Teenager…Usually Doesn’t Happen

What’s the most high-impact event in the life of a teenager – the one that changes everything? Well, it’s not the party celebrating the 13th birthday. Or the first date, although that’s the perspective of many young people. No, the … 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

Who I Write For – Parents Who Are Willing to Do the Work

At 6:30 AM every morning I leave my driveway and head for the gym. Most days, as I pass a certain intersection, I see a car with its headlights on, parked by the side of the road. It’s a parent … 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

Sex Advice for Teen Girls – Establish Boundaries

The book, Conversations with the Wise Aunt, is in the final stages of preparation and will soon appear as a Kindle ebook. In the chapter, “A Nice Way to Say No,” Aunt Maria explains to her niece, Trisha, how boys … Continue reading

A Humorous Story – The Challenge of Parenting a Teen

I’ve logged quite a few hours writing about teens for their parents. Rather than address every conceivable topic, I’ve focused mostly on the issue of teen brain development. What can a parent do to stimulate maximum growth of the pre-frontal … 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