We had Jeramy and Jerusha Clark on our Focus on the Family Broadcast last year to talk about what’s going on in our teens’ brains. It was fascinating.
We learned that teenagers often can’t articulate what they’re feeling. They don’t recognize that they’re lonely and insecure, or that they need more attention from you. Since they can’t ask for specific help, they often express their emotions through behavior.
We have Jeramy and Jerusha back with us again to discuss the way teens think. They suggest that parents connect with their teens with the concept of “ask, listen, and respect.”
The order there is actually important. Questions stimulate the prefrontal cortex area of the brain, which is still developing in teenagers.
Listening is next. We can easily jump to conclusions and assume that we know exactly what’s going on inside of our teenagers. And when you’ve decided you know the problem, you’re likely already prescribing solutions.
Finally, teens respect the same character in their parents that parents expect from their teens: Honesty, control over their emotions, authenticity, and the ability to let go of the need to be right.
When you understand how your teenager’s brain is wired, you can better connect with and influence him or her. Jeramy and Jerusha Clark discuss how neuro-science and God’s Word intersect in the lives of our teens on our broadcast “Understanding How Your Teen Thinks.” Tune in on your local radio station, online, on iTunes, via Podcast, take us with you on our free phone app, or watch the program on our YouTube channel.
Dr. Jeramy Clark served as a youth pastor for 17 years. He’s now senior associate pastor at Pacific Coast church in San Clemente, Calif. Jerusha is a writer and speaker. Together, they’ve written a great book, Your Teenager Is Not Crazy: Understanding Your Teen’s Brain Can Make You a Better Parent.
I hope you’ll consider participating in our “Friends of Focus on the Family” program by becoming a monthly partner. When you do, I’ll send you a free copy of Jeramy and Jerusha’s book as a way of saying thank you. To make your pledge, or for more information, visit our website or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).