What controls adolescence brain development

What happens in the brain during puberty?

Suddenly the child has friends with whom they would never have done anything before. In addition, he sometimes locks himself in his room for a day and listens to strange music. And no more sensible word can be brought out of the child. This is a clear case of: PUBERTY.Welcome to what is probably the most action-packed time with the youngsters.

This phase is a proverbial mountain-and-valley ride: You catch your daughter smoking, and the grades of the former model student go downhill. What's the matter?

From child to adult

During puberty, not only does the body develop, but also the brain of the growing child. These changes cause teens to act strange at times. As a rule, this phase lasts until the age of 16, a few years longer until complete spiritual maturity. While some time ago people thought that the human brain was already largely mature in a six-year-old child, we now know that this process is only completed much later. The American psychiatrist Jay Giedd found out, among other things, that new connections between nerve cells emerge during puberty and that others disappear again.

Help, is my child going crazy now?

At first, it often looks as if the physical and hormonal changes are throwing young people off track, however, the brain plays a much larger role than increased growth, voice breakage, and pimples. Its maturation phase can also lead to outbursts of anger, worse (or sometimes even better) grades than usual and changed behavior.

Puberty can begin from the age of nine. The emotional part of the brain is now undergoing a complete reorganization. First nerve cells are added, then the upper room becomes smaller again. This is done to make the brain work faster. Conversely, this means that emotions are initially felt to be more pronounced than before. The inflowing sex hormones do the rest.

Puberty also tests parents

Puberty also tests parents

It sounds exciting, too: boys and girls embark on new adventures, meet new friends, explore their sexuality and test their limits. Sensible decisions are not the order of the day. Other nerve tracts in the brain that are not yet strongly connected to one another are responsible for this.

Growing up can be tough at times.Many parents know this from their own youth. It is important to show your own children as much understanding as possible. After all, boys and girls can be quite creative during puberty: They are not afraid of trying new things. The fact that the course for the future is set at this age can become a hurdle for a son or daughter. The rifts are deep between the first time and the Abitur exam, party and homework. Here you should set clear boundaries, but still not deprive the child of the opportunity to develop. Sounds like a tightrope walk? It is. But: somehow we all finally managed to grow up.

Limbic system and sexual maturity

Because the limbic system, which is responsible for the emotions, matures faster than the front part of the brain, feelings have the upper hand at first. As a result, girls and boys behave like adolescents: risky decisions are made, one's own sexuality is discovered, and emotional chaos ensues. Only with full sexual maturity, around the age of 14 to 19. begins around, the youngsters are slowly becoming more sensible. Only when the girl becomes a woman and the boy a man does the storm of emotions slowly subside. Then the forebrain is also mature.

The separate maturation processes in the brain are responsible for the fact that children no longer pay attention at school, behave irrationally and sometimes even mental suffering or drug abuse can occur. Parents should be vigilant about mental health problems that suggest depression or impulse control disorders: Not everyone who experiences such difficulties during puberty will become mentally ill. This is mostly "just a phase", but it can also have a lasting impact

Contact with drugs and alcohol during puberty

Particular caution is required when dealing with addictive substances. As the inhibition threshold is low during adolescence, adolescents are quick to resort to alcohol and illegal drugs. Especially when there is peer pressure among friends or at school.Cannabis products and alcohol can cause more harm to teenagers than to adults, precisely because the brain is still in the development phase.

The "paediatricians on the net" cite positive accounts from friends, the imitation of elders and inheritance as reasons why young people try drugs. Children from families with addiction problems are particularly at risk of becoming addicted as well. As a parent, you should be particularly aware of your role model function. If a child considers it normal for alcohol to be consumed every day, they will reach for the bottle faster than if they are regularly and adequately warned of the dangers.

Protect, but not overprotect

It will probably not be entirely possible to avoid the fact that young people in their peer groups come into contact with alcohol (and perhaps also with other intoxicants. Please do not worry too much about it. Too much care can quickly turn into the opposite. Do not restrict your child but try to create trust and make him feel like he's always there to answer questions. It is therefore also important that parents are well informed. Of course, this does not only apply to dealing with drugs puberty changes not only the child's personality, but also the body of the child. This phase of life begins with the start of the production of sex hormones - in girls with eleven, with boys between the ages of around twelve and 13. The first occurs in girls Menstruate, boys have their first ejaculation.

Hormones bring about change

These serious changes can sometimes mess up young people and also cause bad mood, mood swings and shyness. It all depends on the temperament. Especially when it comes to the subject of sexuality, one should treat the child as carefully as possible. When it starts to try itself out and brings home the first boyfriend or girlfriend, it should meet with trust. It is best to accompany your child through puberty as considerately as possible. Offer help when needed and keep talking. If there are arguments: stay cool.