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Why do teenagers behave the way they do?Understanding the teenage brain

teenage-daughter and momParents of teenagers lament," I don't know my child any more,If I ask him a question he answers in a single word. He wants to spend time only with his friends. I don't know what is going on"!

And the teenagers complain, "My parents just don't understand a thing about my life. They have a problem with everything I want to do!"

Parents often wonder what happened to their little one who used to love spending time with them. What parents really want is to keep the connection with their growing children. Teenagers on the other hand, want explore new areas, as novelty has high appeal, have wide moods from being sullen to zestful, want to spend time with peers more than family, revel in taking risks and enjoy the thrills of it, question and defy family traditions etc.

According to Dr. Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., an internationally acclaimed author, award-winning educator, and child psychiatrist, they exhibit these behaviours because there is a huge transformation taking place in the structure and function of the brain which pushes teenagers to become independent and prepare themselves for adulthood. He explains this concept of what a teenage brain needs using the acronym ESSENCE. This awareness helps in demystifying teenage years and renews connection between parents and children.

ES: Emotional Spark—honouring these important internal sensations that are more intense during adolescence but serve to create meaning and vitality throughout our lives.
SE: Social Engagement—the important connections we have with others that support our journeys through life with meaningful, mutually rewarding relationships.
N: Novelty—how we seek out and create new experiences that engage us fully, stimulating our senses, emotions, thinking, and bodies in new and challenging ways.
CE: Creative Explorations—the conceptual thinking, abstract reasoning, and expanded consciousness that create a gateway to seeing the world through new lenses."

Check out this link to see Daniel Siegel's talk

This show was aired on 104.8 FM on Wednesday, 13th January 2016