We wanted to share today a little advice and knowledge from JNF founder Laura. Here are her thoughts on young people, brain development and building resilience for the future.
New science has found physical differences between the brain of a teen and adult. We now know that the brain does not fully form until we are around our mid 20"s in age. This means that our brain will go through many stages of development before that point which effects our ability to learn, make friends, understand feelings and emotions, and cope with life. So it is really important that a young person and their family know about this and understand what is going on with certain behaviours that are stereotypical around this time.
These changes in brain development can make teens and young adults take more risks at this age than they would at any other point in their life. This 'risk taking' behaviours is the part of the brain craving reward due to the depletion of dopamine - the chemical that makes you feel happy.
Knowing now that the pre-frontal cortex in the brain is still developing which creates a strong desire for reward (whatever the risk) might explain a lot of stereotypical teenage behaviour.
The good news is that the brain is fully developed at 25…. so hang in there mums dads and kids!!!!