How does brain research inform parenting? According to Dr. Daniel Siegel, a leading researcher in the fields of mind development and parenting, a better understanding of the neurobiological processes that occur in the mind of a child can assist parents in connecting well with their child; teach them to de-escalate out of control behaviors and emotions; and guide them in creating and maintaining healthy boundaries to keep the child safe. It can assist parents in raising children who have self-control; good decision-making skills; and the ability to function well; love fully; and find joy in living.
“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:11
Some parents have discovered that the parenting techniques they used with younger children become ineffective when their child becomes an adolescent. Understanding the mechanisms of the adolescent mind- and the purposes of the very specific brain function and features that occur during these years- allows parents to better partner and guide their teens through these years. Four changes that can readily be observed include novelty seeking; social engagement, increased emotional intensity, and creative exploration. These changes can lead to both risk and opportunity. Parenting during these years can be challenging, yet incredibly rewarding. It can even become enjoyable, as parents and teens work together to support the teens in living quality lives and fulfilling their dreams.