Last week I told my son a "very scary" story about what would happen to him when he became a teenager. Although I was having some fun with him, I am well aware of the fact that what will actually happen when he becomes a teenager will be much, much more frightening. For me.
Think back to your teenage years. Mostly they are full of fond memories of excitement and good times, and great friendships. This is not true for your parents. In this great long piece in The New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert takes a look at the brain of a teenager and why we should all be afraid. The gist of the article is clear: Teenagers are wired to be riskier than any other age group, and when you throw in early experiences with sex, alcohol and driving for the first time, the risks get higher.
The most worrisome part for me is that this fact remains: The brain is not fully finished when we hit our teens, and it is up to parents to step in and bridge the gap between risky and real life. And that is an incredibly difficult task.
On a side note: Sorry, Mom!
What type of discussions do you repeatedly have with your teenager? Share with me in the comments.