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Parents Discuss the Teenage Brain

On February 10th,  a group of grade 8 and grade 9 parents met to discuss the first of four sections from the book entitled Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel Siegel. The author examines a number of commonly held myths about adolescence (e.g., that it is merely a stage of “immaturity” filled with “crazy” behavior) and then demonstrates how brain development affects behavior and relationships.

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Drawing upon recent research in the field of neurobiology and psychology, Siegel explores different ways to connect with our teens, help them safely experiment and take risks, improve relationships and, ultimately, thrive through the teenage years. In this first session, participants shared some of the challenges they currently face, as well as the long-term goals they have for their teens. We looked at the importance of positive risk-taking and how this might be supported at home. And lastly, participants engaged in a self-reflective exercise to help develop empathy and understanding both for themselves and their teen.

In part two of this workshop, we will explore the ways in which the brain influences decision-making in teens, friendship attachments, creative exploration and the impact of varying levels of dopamine in the brain. The grade 8/9 parent group will meet three more times over the course of the semester. The group is designed to be educational, supportive and fun. Stay tuned for the next update! (Ron Fast, HS Counseling)