Rites of Passage Presentation

IN SEARCH OF THE TEENAGE BRAIN: How understanding genetics and the science of brain development can make us better parents and mentors to adolescents.

One of the most challenging aspects of parenting is that moment when our sweet children transform before our very eyes into petulant, protesting, contentious adolescents that are embarrassed by our very existence and certain that we must somehow know less than just about anyone else on the planet. They begin to look more like adults but do not seem to be capable of behaving like adults. They want their every desire fulfilled instantly and no one, least of all their parents, could possibly know what they're feeling. Welcome to adolescence.

This presentation is a light-hearted but scientifically grounded look at what happens to the teenage brain during the transition from a child's brain to an adult's brain—that period we call adolescence. We explore what parts of adolescence are hardwired by genetics and biology and the kinds of strategies that are most effective for parenting or mentoring adolescents. We look at brain development from a scientific perspective and discover just how long it takes the average adult brain to develop (Spoiler alert: It's way past 18).

This is an entertaining and visual presentation with lots of specific take-aways for parents of adolescent youth or those who are about to be. It can also be tailored for mentors or youth program staff looking for better strategies for motivating and guiding youth in their care. It works for conferences and large groups as well as small groups (with more opportunity for questions). It can be tailored to fit in 1 to 2 hour time slots. 2-hour presentations feature expanded content. 

"This was one of those presentations that made me laugh and made me think. As a parent and a social worker, its gave me permission to stop beating myself up for those aspects of adolescence that are beyond my control."
Karen Daley, LCSW