Teen Development

When I was in high school, I got an A in every subject I ever took. I didn’t find out until later that I hadn’t learned as much as I thought. But man, I knew how to make A’s!

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The new eBook, How to Give Your Teen a Superior Mind, is now available free to parents and adults who work with teens. Although several books about the teen brain have been published, none of them talk about the permanent long-term consequences of teen brain development – or what adults can do to cultivate a robust foundation for critical thinking, judgment and decision making.

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The sound of the front door shutting announced that Ricardo was home from practice. His dad met him in the hallway.

“How was it today?”

“It was okay. We did a lot of conditioning drills and I’m beat.”

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Of course we’d all like to know why that orange-haired loser assembled an arsenal and randomly attacked an Aurora, Colorado theater full of innocent people, killing twelve. But meanwhile, there have been quite a few interesting stories about the victims of this tragedy. One in particular caught my eye.

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If you’ve followed my blog, you know I often write about adolescence as the sensitive time of life during which a child’s brain can be wired for basic critical thinking skills. The window of opportunity opens at puberty and closes sometime in the early twenties. Foreseeing consequences, exercising logic and managing decisions can stimulate brain cells to connect. Only the brain cells that wire together will fire together, and they have to fire a lot to form a neural pathway. And it’s use it or lose it. By the time you’re a young adult, the window has closed and whatever foundation for higher-level thinking you established in youth is what you have to work with for the rest of your life.

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