Lauren Greenspan helps parents of teens understand which life skills are essential for success in college and life. And encourages parents to start building those skills in high school. “The only thing more dangerous than taking risks in adolescence is not taking risks.”
So the majority of the time we are thinking about college, a lot of us I think it’s safe to say mostly think about how I’m going to pay for college, the application process, college application essays, all of that type of stuff. And something that can sometimes get overlooked is how am I going to prepare my kids socially and emotionally to completely uproot from everything they know and start another life. So that’s what I’m going to be covering today. So, I’m going to start with just laying down a little bit of groundwork on some of the changes that are happening in the brain with teenagers that actually help to support them in this launch. And then we’ll talk about specific skills that we can help them develop throughout their Middle and High School Years to be ready for this, and then obviously what we as the adults in their lives can do to help with all those things.
So the teenage brain. Anyone have any ideas what the teenage brain might have in common with other animals? This’ll be the day, right. Hormones, yeah. So there’re a couple changes in the human brain occurring during adolescence that I want to talk about, and very interestingly, scientists have found that these changes happen across species, and you can see that not even just with mammals, with a lot of different species. One is that we see increased risk-taking, and the other one is that we see our teenagers moving away from their family group and spending more time with their social group. And so scientists have found that as all of these different animals are preparing to leave their nest, they’re exhibiting similar behaviors, and so this lowered risk threshold and the pleasure in risk-taking are actually serving a purpose across species to help animals prepare to leave the nest.
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