Teen queens and hormone machines: Some of our most popular and most enlightening videos on teenagers and their development

By ParentTV on 7 Oct 2020
Categories: General Parenting

When you have a teenager, you may find yourself thanking the heavens for the fact that your own adolescence didn’t play out online to the extent that theirs does. If it had, there would be evidence of what you got up to, and they don’t need that ammunition. Sometimes, in cursing our teens for their questionable decisions and devastatingly poor judgement, we forget that we too did dumb things, heaps of them. HEAPS. We still do dumb things, to this day! But we try not to repeat them. Experience, you see.

Teens are another much-maligned section of the population, and it’s not completely unjustified. They are fit to bust with hormones, they’re drowning under the weight of their last years of school and their frontal cortex goes on holiday just when they need it most, making them quite unreasonable. But, it’s not their fault – they have faulty wiring, like Christmas lights left on in an electrical storm. Alas, there is no warranty. Then, there are moments when teenagers are shockingly astute and you see glimpses of an adult you would actually want to be friends with. Swings and roundabouts, parents! Here’s what the experts say:

Karen Young is one of our most popular experts on teens, and when you watch her speak, you’ll understand why. She’s empathetic about what they’re going through but she also understands one of the biggest challenges for parents: maintaining connection with your teen so they will come to you for help when they make mistakes. Basically, parenting at this age is to be constantly treading the line between the boundaries you’ve lovingly laid down and the necessity of keeping your emotional connection with your adolescent alive. Simple…

During their adolescence, your teen’s brain is going through some changes and their frontal cortex basically ‘shuts for renovations’, Nathan Wallis explains. But don’t worry, it’s only for 90% of the time and you can expect them to be perfectly reasonable for the other 10% of the time. HAHAHAohno. Seriously, it is comforting to hear the ‘neuroscientific’ explanation of why your teenager grunts at you, disagrees with your point of view by default, can’t control their emotions and is blind to the consequences of their actions. Sort of comforting, anyway.

‘Don’t ask your teen heaps of questions about what’s going on. Don’t tell them what they should be doing. Just be with them,’ advises Dr Arne Rubinstein. There’s a piece of advice to put on the fridge! Dr Rubinstein is best known for his work on rites of passage with teens and the importance of finding mentors for kids at this age, but he also has some excellent, clear general wisdom for parents on how to help steer them through the troubled waters of teenagerhood without anyone getting thrown overboard. Life jackets are mandatory.

Wouldn’t you love to have Maggie Dent on speed dial to just tell you what to do when you’re in parenting strife? Well, we can’t give out her phone number but we can give you her advice on tap on ParentTV, you’re very welcome! In this video, Maggie talks about that barometer that all of us have that measures the stress we are under at any given point, and how important it is to monitor that level in your teens. We also want to warn that this video contains mention of teen suicide. It’s A heartbreaking story, but also a very important one. Another must-watch from Maggie.

You might have already heard us singing the praises of Michelle Mitchelll in the tweens edition of this series, and she’s equally wise on the topic of teens. This video is a great one for those parents who are battling the spectre of their adolescent’s moods and the effects they have on their household ~vibes~. So many moods. Who knew there were so many? Thank goodness for this video and for Michelle, who really comes through with the goods on how to manage the teen moodiness in your family without just evicting said teen. 

Well, we couldn’t get through the whole teens edition of this series without including some guidance on the elephant in the teenager’s room: tech, devices and social media. Dr Jodie Lowinger is a psychologist with a ton of useful info on anxiety and other mental health concerns in both kids and teens, and while this video addresses both age groups, we’d say it’s particularly pertinent for teenagers who seem to need WiFi as much as they need air. It’s such a hard issue to navigate, especially when it comes to protecting our kids from what Dr Lowinger calls the ‘compare and despair’ impact of social media. Parents, we all need to watch this video, and we also need to teach our kids about Photoshop.


More in this series..

Previously: Baby-love and their developmentToddlers and their developmentPreschool and early primary, Tweens on the scene

Coming up next: Something just for parents!