The teenage phase is essential for neurodevelopment. By the age of twenty or twenty-one, the brain is finally mature and is capable of finely tuned neural circuitry but hormonal changes during teenage create ripples. According to research, these 4 tips might help you to understand your teenager better.

  1. Let Teenagers Sleep: Most teenagers don’t have a proper sleep pattern. A teenage brain needs at least eight hours of sleep every night. The brain develops and consolidates during sleep. Lack of sleep might make them impulsive, increases hunger, leads to obesity and it might hamper their memory too. In the United States, there are some schools which are bringing late school hours for teenagers to cope up with changing biorhythms. Almost two-thirds of teens are sleep deprived, elevating the cortisol level (stress hormone) which makes them irritable. Try and make sure they go to bed at the same time daily and wake up at the same time. It might be difficult to get them on a routine but not impossible.
  2. Talk About Sex: When parents talk to their children about sex at an early age, chances are children will have sex later in life or they’ll use contraception. At times, we feel uncomfortable to talk about sex but it is essential to create a calm environment and not judge. It is important to listen to our children carefully about what they want to share, what they already know, and what they want to know. We need to discuss with them about sex frankly giving them all the necessary information even about the related infections and diseases.
  3. Set a Great Digital Example: Teenagers are victims of social media and technology—even adult’s lives are ruled by technology. All of us get addicted to our phones or tablets. Some children spend about 8-to-10 hours on the screen which is alarming. We usually give a phone or an I-pad to our children to watch a video and have fun, as this is the easiest way to engage them. But later in life, it might become a problem. Children do what they see us doing. We defined a no phone zone or no technology zone for our family for some time during the day. It could be it during your dinner time or after dinner where no gadgets are allowed. Lead by setting an example. During this family time, try to listen more to your teenager instead of talking to them or giving lectures.
  4. Do Not Spy on Your Teenager: Research shows that snooping on your teenager doesn’t do any good for you or your teen. If they see you spying on them, they will not discuss or share anything with you. Instead, try talking frankly with them. Children are likely to share more with the parents who directly ask them questions. Establish a friendly environment and try to have open discussions about every good and bad thing. You can include humor to make the conversation light. Build trust so that your children will come to you on their own to discuss their problems or share their happy moments.


This post originally appeared on Wonder Parenting.