Parent-Teen Communication

The human brain has dozens and dozens of areas that perform special tasks. While a baby is born with a complete brain, it’s like a brand new computer with no software and no data. So throughout childhood, the outer layer of the brain, the cerebral cortex – where “programs” and “data” are stored – programs its “operating system.”

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What’s the most high-impact event in the life of a teenager – the one that changes everything? Well, it’s not the party celebrating the 13th birthday. Or the first date, although that’s the perspective of many young people.

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“The Cinnamon Challenge.” Young teens dare each other to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon in less than a minute without water. Many teens see it as a popular way to have a lot of fun. Part of the excitement is to make a video of yourself doing it and post it on YouTube. I checked and found this video, viewed over 6 million times. Pay close attention and you’ll see the camera recorded two really cute animals. One of them clearly has more common sense than the other….

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For quite a while now, I’ve felt that the kind of personal development that we encourage with adults should begin during the teen years, if not before – that in fact the adult learners we serve with programs like ProStar Coach are actually trying to improve skills and strengths they should have learned a long time ago. To this end, I’ve been involved in an anecdotal research project in which I interview adults about their experiences as teenagers. This effort has taught me a lot about what I call “the teen journey.”

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At 6:30 AM every morning I leave my driveway and head for the gym. Most days, as I pass a certain intersection, I see a car with its headlights on, parked by the side of the road.

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