A study at MIT said, "According to recent findings, the human brain does not reach full maturity
until at least the mid-20s.The specific changes that follow young adulthood are not yet well studied, but it is known that they involve increased myelination and continued adding and pruning of neurons. As a number of researchers have put it, 'the rental car companies have it right.' The brain isn't fully mature at 16, when we are allowed to drive, or at 18, when we are allowed to vote, or at 21, when we are allowed to drink, but closer to 25, when we are allowed to rent a car."
The part of the brain that is responsible for problem solving, emotion, complex thought, personality, impulse restraint, and appropriate social behavior is not fully developed until about twenty-five years old. Did you ever wonder why your teenager has emotional mood swings, participates in dangerous and stupid activities, is completely impulsive, or is socially inappropriate in public? Well it's because their brain is not developed yet. In fact, they are basically crazy.
My favorite parenting teen book, which I call my bible, is "Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy!" by Dr. Michael J. Bradley.
He states, "Both toddler and adolescent brain at times are unstable, dysfunctional, and completely unpredictable. They both have just developed a bunch of brain circuits that may fire off unexpectedly. Also, they both have neurologically deficient controls to moderate these impulses and to understand the likely outcomes of their actions. In the science of mental health, we have a word for that. We call it crazy."
So what do we do? We read, study, and learn what we need in order to help our teens through these difficult times in their lives. Yelling at them only makes them wonder why you are crazy. Instead we need to be supportive, stay calm, and apologize when we aren't staying calm or being supportive. Remember your teen is technically brain damaged, so be understanding, be supportive, and most of all read Dr. Bradley's book and know that eventually they do grow up.