From the files of “tell me something I don’t already know”, comes this study. The headline is sure to catch the attention of every parent of a teen, or tween for that matter: “Teen Brain May Be Wired for Moodiness”.
I could have told them that! In fact, they could have videotaped my morning today for a wonderful example. One minute we are happily eating breakfast and the next my 13 year old is grabbing her backpack and huffing out the door as her friend arrived to walk to school. The instigating event: her sister had asked her to move her backpack from the breakfast bar so she could have room to eat, and my 13 year old felt that request was “inconvenient”. It was a lovely family moment.
Softpedia has a great summary of other brain changes in teenagers that explain just about every behavior we’ve all seen in teens from poor judgment to impulsiveness. The part you’ll love the most is this:
“It is not known exactly what marks the transition from adolescence to adulthood. The end of puberty, or sexual maturation, is well defined. It is the point when bones stop growing, at around age 16 for girls and 17.5 for boys. But for adolescence, the transition from childhood to adulthood, there is no clear endpoint.”
Following close behind in teen news, is this posted on MomLogic today. This may surprise you, that tween swearing is on the rise. Keep in mind that tweens are 8-12 year olds. Having a tween at home and a very new teen, who only months ago was a tween, I can attest to the validity of this observation. Keep in mind that kids are sponges for what their peers do so even if you have the cleanest language at home, they will talk the talk of their buds at school. Kids this age want to fit in and to fit in means to sound the right way.
So, what’s a mom and dad to do? Help them develop a filter so that the potty mouth doesn’t become a bad habit. Do so by example but also by pointing out to them how other kids sound when they talk that way. Perhaps allow some “safe” words once in a while but draw the line on words that are clearly dirty, degrading or just down and out evil.
By the way, there are role models in pop culture for some rather funny ways to let off steam without cursing. In Hannah Montana they say “sweet niblets” instead of curses and all of us have started saying that in lieu of more colorful words.