Unlock your teenagers brain

by | Oct 29, 2023 | Parenting, Relationships | 0 comments

Understanding your teens can eliminate so many problems, it can reduce conflict and build happy relations.

Science-backed insights on teenage behavior

Before we learn more about teenage behaviour it will be useful to get the full picture about various stages of our child’s development from when they were born

Brain development from a child born until they are in 20s

The development of the human brain is a complex and dynamic process that spans from infancy to young adulthood. While individual variations exist, and different areas of the brain develop at different rates, there are general patterns of neurological development. Here is a brief overview:

  1. Infancy (0-2 years):
    • Rapid growth in brain size and neural connections.
    • Early development of basic sensory and motor functions.
    • Formation of synapses, the connections between nerve cells.
  2. Early Childhood (2-6 years):
    • Continued growth in the size of the brain.
    • Development of language and social skills.
    • Refinement of motor skills.
    • Increased coordination and spatial awareness.
  3. Middle Childhood (6-12 years):
    • Ongoing refinement of cognitive abilities.
    • Development of higher-order thinking, including problem-solving.
    • Continued growth in language skills.
    • Establishment of more complex neural networks.
  4. Adolescence (12-18 years):
    • Significant changes in the prefrontal cortex, responsible for executive functions such as reasoning, decision-making, and impulse control.
    • Continued refinement of cognitive abilities.
    • Increased ability for abstract thinking.
    • Emotional regulation begins to align with adult patterns.
  5. Young Adulthood (18-25 years):
    • Final stages of maturation in the prefrontal cortex.
    • Further development of cognitive control and executive functions.
    • Brain reaches full maturity in terms of structure, though ongoing refinement and fine-tuning continue.

It’s important to note that the maturation of the prefrontal cortex, responsible for higher-order cognitive functions, continues into the mid-20s. This prolonged development is often associated with the observation that young adults may still be refining aspects of decision-making and impulse control.

The information provided is a general guideline, and individual differences can result in variations in the timing and pace of neurological development. Additionally, ongoing research may provide more detailed insights into the intricacies of brain development across different age groups.

Science based facts


Here are some science-backed insights on teenage behaviour

1. Neurological Development: Teenagers undergo significant neurological changes, with the prefrontal cortex—responsible for reasoning and decision-making—still maturing upto the age of 25. This can lead to impulsive behaviour and challenges in making sound judgments.

2. Limbic System Activity: The limbic system, which governs emotions, is highly active during adolescence. This heightened emotional response contributes to mood swings and intense emotional experiences in teenagers.

3. Hormonal Fluctuations: Hormonal changes play a crucial role in teenage behaviour. The surge in hormones can impact mood, exacerbating emotional highs and lows, and contributing to the overall unpredictability of a teenager’s emotional state.

4. Risk-Taking Tendencies: The combination of ongoing brain development and hormonal fluctuations can result in a propensity for risk-taking behaviour. Teenagers may engage in activities with potential consequences that they might not fully comprehend.

5. Social Influence: Teenagers are highly influenced by their peers. The desire for social acceptance and a sense of belonging can lead to behavioural changes as they navigate peer relationships and social dynamics.

6. Sleep Patterns: Changes in circadian rhythms during adolescence can lead to altered sleep patterns. Teenagers often experience a shift in their natural sleep-wake cycles, impacting their mood, alertness, and overall behaviour.

7. Identity Formation: Adolescence is a critical period for identity formation. Teenagers explore and experiment with different aspects of their identity, which can result in changes in behaviour as they seek to understand themselves better.

8. Cognitive Abilities: Cognitive abilities, such as abstract thinking and future planning, continue to develop during adolescence. While teenagers may demonstrate mature thinking in certain areas, they may struggle with decision-making in others.

9. Peer Pressure and Conformity: The influence of peer groups can lead to conformity and a desire to fit in. Teenagers may adopt behaviours that align with those of their peers, sometimes prioritising social acceptance over parental guidance.

10. Emotional Sensitivity: Teenagers often display heightened emotional sensitivity. Minor issues can be magnified, and emotional reactions may be more intense due to the interplay of hormonal changes and developing emotional regulation skills.

Understanding these science-backed insights can provide parents with valuable perspectives on their teenagers’ behaviour. By recognising the biological and neurological factors at play, parents can approach the challenges of raising teenagers with empathy, patience, and a more informed mindset.


Here are some reputable sources that cover the general stages of brain development:

  1. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):
    • The NIMH provides information on brain development and mental health across the lifespan.
    • Website: NIMH – Brain Development
  2. Center on the Developing Child – Harvard University:
    • Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child offers in-depth resources on early childhood development and the developing brain.
    • Website: Harvard Center on the Developing Child
  3. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
    • The AAP provides resources on child development, including brain development milestones.
    • Website: AAP – Early Brain Development
  4. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI):
    • NCBI hosts numerous research articles on brain development. You can search for specific studies and reviews.
    • Website: NCBI
  5. Scientific American – “The Teen Brain: Still Under Construction”:
    • This article discusses the extended development of the teenage brain, particularly the prefrontal cortex.
    • Article: Scientific American – The Teen Brain

Seeking Support:

Embark on a journey towards a stronger, more understanding relationship with your teenager. Remember, you’re not alone, and support is available to help you navigate this challenging terrain.

Consider a FREE 15 minutes coaching discovery call and let’s find answers to so many questions unanswered regarding your teen’s erratic behaviour.

Hi, I’m Kanika

I support parents, educators, professionals, business owners, home makers and young adults to Reinvent, Rediscover & Redefine your life so that, you take actionable steps using proven strategies and tools to succeed and become the best you can be in your role. Learn through my masterclasses or 1:1 personalised support.

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