The Science Behind the Teen Brain

The Science Behind the Teen Brain - Parenting Like Hannah
Photo by Patrick Dente

During a stint recruiting doctors, I became fascinated by medical science. Educators spend a lot of time debating what we can alter with education and environment and what is pre-determined by biology. My problem with most scientists is that they remove God from the equation. I really do believe God has the power to “overcome” biology or any other sciences and their rules if He chooses to do so. In spite of my belief, I know that most of the time, God allows our bodies to function in certain standard ways.

As an educator, I am always curious about the latest research involving the brain. A PhD Astronomer friend recently reminded me that you must take every scientific discovery with a grain of salt. New instruments or more thorough or broader research can often turn recent discoveries upside down. With his warning in mind, I decided to learn what the latest thinking was on the teen brain. I volunteered to review a galley of a new book which will be released in a few months called, What Are They Thinking?!: The Straight Facts about the Risk-Taking, Social-Networking, Still-Developing Teen Brain by Aaron M. White, PHD and Scott Swartzwelder, PHD.

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Praying Blessings On Your Children

Praying Blessings on Your Children - Parenting Like Hannah
Photo by commanderjaygold

Some of the most interesting passages in the Old Testament are when the patriarchs blessed their children. The Bible never really tells us for sure if they were actually prophecies from God or just reflected the father’s wishes, but they had a lasting effect on the sons who heard them.

As parents, we don’t have (and probably don’t want) the power of blessing our child with a predictive blessing like those in the Old Testament. We can use prayer though, to bless our children in other ways. Ways that may effect them more than we realize.

This month in our challenge to teach our children to live more like Jesus, we are focusing on helping our children to develop a personal prayer life while we also work on strengthening our own. One idea I heard years ago rings true to me now as I encounter more and more adults who had damaging relationships with their parents. Our children need to hear us asking God to bless them in our prayers.

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Tween Whispering

Tween Whispering - Parenting Like Hannah“Hormone” is a word that strikes fear in the hearts of many otherwise confident adults. We have all heard horror stories of how sweet, loving children suddenly turn into screaming, tearful tyrants who may just be capable of seriously harming themselves or others.

While that may be the case in some homes, I think there are things parents can do to lessen the negative effects of hormones on your tween’s behavior and your own sanity. I have used many of these ideas in my home and have seen them work for my friends and their now adult daughters when they were in the tween stage.

These tips for “tween whispering” (or “teen whispering”) are in no particular order, but hopefully you will find a few of them work for you too.

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The Beauty of a Tween Child

The Beauty of a Tween Child - Parenting Like HannahMost people look at me as if I am a little addled when they discover my major in college. In fact, they usually won’t continue the conversation until I have offered an explanation for my choice.

You see, I majored in education with a specialization in 4th through 8th grades. There are tons of people who love the cute little kids and even a lot who prefer the older teens and young adults. Rarely, do you find people who adore children in those tween and early teen years. I am one of those rare individuals.

Why do I love tweens? Because they are the best age to teach. They have already picked up most of the basics in life and are ready to start putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Even with the push to early adolescence in our culture, the tween is usually not finished polishing their veneer. They love to discover new things and you can see the light in their eyes when you show them how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together in a really fun way. When I see a tween, I see a teaching opportunity that is probably only matched in very young children and college kids.

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TEN REASONS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS: Reason #1 (Nancy Rue Guest Post)

Ten Reasons to Fall in Love with Jesus: Reason #1 (Nancy Rue Guest Post) - Parenting Like Hannah
Author Nancy Rue

My daughter has read probably almost every one of Nancy Rue’s books for girls. Ms. Rue’s books represent something which is difficult to find in much of today’s fiction: Christian literature that is age appropriate, realistic and inspiring. I appreciate Ms. Rue for agreeing to guest host today’s Parenting Like Hannah. As an expert on writing for tweens and teens, Ms. Rue is giving you a devotional to share with your tween daughters. Be sure to check out her free resources and enter the contest at the bottom of the post! In future posts, I will be discussing some of those parenting issues that seem to hit mothers the hardest beginning in the tween and teen years. For today, have some Valentine fun sharing this devotional with your daughter!

I want to give a big Mini-Women thank you to Thereasa Winnett of Parenting Like Hannah, for being a part of our 10-Day blog campaign. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of you moms who are reading this. The eye-rolling and “Mo-om!” notwithstanding, you are still the most important influence in your tween daughter’s life.  I hope you’ll share this with her:

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