One of the hallmarks of adolescence—not only in the United States, but around the world—is that risky and reckless behavior is commonplace. Rates of risk taking are higher during the late teen years than during any other period of development. And the list of risky behaviors that are more common during adolescence than before or after is remarkably diverse. Compared to people of other ages, adolescents are more likely to commit crimes, experiment with alcohol and other drugs, deliberately hurt themselves, and have unprotected sex. Adolescents are even more likely than children or adults to accidentally drown, which must be due to bad decision-making, since teenagers have considerable strength and stamina compared to people of other ages. The heightened propensity of adolescents to engage in risky behavior has been a longstanding concern to parents, schools, and society, and for good reason.
The Wrong Crowd?
Teens and Decision Making | Scholastic: Nida
For teenagers, discipline is about agreeing on and setting appropriate limits and helping them behave within those limits. When your child was younger, you probably used a range of discipline strategies to teach him the basics of good behaviour. Now your child is growing into a teenager, you can use limits and boundaries to help him learn independence , take responsibility for his behaviour and its outcomes, and solve problems. Your child needs these skills to become a young adult with her own standards for appropriate behaviour and respect for others.
Lessons and Strategies on CHOICE - Secondary
James McCue does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. So how can parents help their teenagers learn and apply good decision-making skills? Read more: How to maintain the balance between boundaries and freedom in secondary school parenting.
This latest installment of Heads Up reports on important research, which shows that the teen brain is "under construction"—and how this fact impacts decision making. Students will gain insight into how rushed decisions—acting quickly before thinking something through—result from the influence of feelings and emotions rooted in the more mature limbic system of teens over logic rooted in the yet-to-mature prefrontal cortex. The information within this issue can help teens see the value of taking a moment to think before they act as a means to making smarter and more rational decisions.