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Brain Development

Much of the drama in the teen years can be traced back to brain development and social changes. There is a lot happening in the teen body during adolescence. Because your teen's brain is still developing, teens react strongly to stressful and pleasurable events. Some think this is why teens are more likely to undertake risky behaviours than other age groups.

When your teen leaves adolescence and hits his mid-twenties, brain development will be complete. That's right – our brains often do not finish developing until we have legally been considered an adult for about four years!

The fact that a teen's brain is still developing is not an excuse for bad behaviour or poor decision-making, however. Teens should be responsible for their words, actions and behaviours. Even though his brain hasn't finished developing, he is capable of complex thinking and will love debating with you about seemingly everything. Encourage your teen to question what goes on around her and challenge her to think for herself. Teens feel great pressure to fit in and be like their friends, but you can remind them that they can fit in while still thinking for themselves.

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