Adolescents and young adults can be confusing and hard to figure out. As parents, we often walk away feeling helpless and dumbfounded at the logic (or lack thereof) in our teenagers. We ask ourselves, “What is he thinking?”
The adolescent and young adult brain is very different from an adult brain. The young brain continues to develop (particularly the frontal lobes, which are the last to develop) into their mid-20s. A brain is fully developed at about age 26. Why is this crucial to understand? First, the frontal lobes are the executive center which helps with consequential thinking and foresight. In addition to the developing frontal lobes, another aspect within a young man’s brain (even in the most well-adjusted teenager) is that he has competing neurological systems that cause slower reaction and timing issues. This means that his brain is not yet equipped to think about consequences or the future, or think as quickly as an adult would.
By adulthood, our brains have pruned away these non-essential pathways. It’s easier for us to make a logical decision. Our brains are faster and more foresight-oriented. This is why there is so often a disconnect between parents and their teenagers’ decisions.
Understanding brain development helps us provide the best help for your developing son. Neurofeedback helps with speed and timing issues, which allows these young men to make better sense of their therapeutic interventions and apply them more readily.