The Teenage Brain…They Are Crazy!

Yesterday I heard an NPR story on the teenage brain. Those kids are crazy, but now we know why.

I have two  fairly famous sayings about teenage boys, they go like this. 1.”Teenage boys have more bad ideas in sixty seconds than the rest of us have all week.” (Example, launching water balloons at the police station.)

2.  “As boys turn into men, around age 30, they figure out that it’s not a good idea to act on all those bad ideas.” (example: don’t try to jump off the second story balcony into the hotel pool)

Well according to the NPR story I was both right and wrong. Teen brains understand  and recognize bad ideas just as well as frumpy 50 year old housewives but, they don’t exaggerated it the way  the grown up brain does. Grown ups tend to think the world is a dangerous place and really bad stuff will happen if we get out of line. 

That’s not how teens see things. So their decision to do wacked stuff, like jump in the spider monkey cage at the zoo, isn’t so unreasonable.

The adult thinks, the spider monkey will bite your lips off and put poop on your head, don’t get in there!

The teenager thinks, the spider monkey will sit on my head and my friends will think I’m awesome.
The teen brain knows driving fast is dangerous, but the rewards are more important. The teen boy knows if he drives 118 miles an hour his girl  friend might secretly think he’s hot and his buddies will think he’s crazy.That means a lot to the teenage brain, because it needs positive reinforcement and social acceptance.

Adults think, “if I drive 118 mph I’ll probably die, or worse, I’ll get a ticket and my insurance premiums will double.” There’s not much reward, so we don’t do it.

Holy cow, this explains a lot. Teen-agers aren’t idiots, they are just different. I’ll try to remember that next time I see a bunch of kids riding a 4 wheeler, in their boxers, during a snow storm. (Yes, that does happen in my neighborhood.)

*Three side notes:

1. The next blog will be a commercial. Sorry.

2. checke out my other blog

3. Does anyone know about Kindle e-books? Some folks have suggested I write one.

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