The Science of Parenting

Teens | S.5 Ep. 7

May 20, 2021 Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Season 5 Episode 7
The Science of Parenting
Teens | S.5 Ep. 7
Show Notes Transcript

Though they make look like adults, teens are still developing in all areas. Be a positive role model and keep the communication flowing as they keep growing up.

Send us an email: parenting@iastate.edu.
Find us on Facebook or Twitter: @scienceofparent.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext

Mackenzie Johnson:

Hey, welcome to The Science of Parenting podcast, where we connect you with research based information that fits your family. We'll talk about the realities of being a parent, and how research can help guide our parenting decisions. I'm Mackenzie Johnson, parent of two littles with their own quirks. And I'm a parenting educator.

Lori Korthals:

And I'm Lori Korthals, parents of three in two different life stages.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Weird.

Lori Korthals:

Two are launched. No one is in high school and I am a parenting educator. And this season we are continuing to talk about children in different stages and ages of life. And specifically this week, we are talking about the teenagers!

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yep, those teens those adolescence, so much good stuff.

Lori Korthals:

Well, three have have had have had and currently have had, how about that. Currently having.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Definitely that definitely made sense to me. (laughing) But yeah, t is season, talking all ab ut kids of different ages, and looking at the research and he reality around parenting teens. And we're going to talk bout these developmental mile tones, the things that ki s are just commonly going thr ugh in the teen years. And it' important to understand we're oing to be talking about he general expectations of d velopment, we're not getting to far in to that nitty gritty But we do know that every kid evelops at their own pace. And n the teen years, I tend to th nk of like your early bloome s and your late bloomers, right, that's the term we tend to use n the teen years, but all a their own pace, some early, s me kind of right on time, and so e a little later. And so our ole today, right general infor ation, and just that it's res arch based information that you can trust, and it's going to hel guide and inform our decisio s with

Lori Korthals:

Exactly. And remember that there are many factors that affect the rate of development in children. And one of those things is temperament. We talked about it all of season three, and you know, that can continue to play into children's development and decision making in their teen years. Additionally, their environments, their genetics, and so much more. And if you do have concerns about your child's development, or their behavioral or mental health during these teen years, we really recommend that you talk with your family healthcare provider, or a local area education agency or even a mental health specialist.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Totally. We, I'll say we do know, right that these years, there can be different kinds of concerns. And we always say we provide information. And that's just one step. And it's good to seek out local support when you have it available to you for sure.

Lori Korthals:

So let's talk about the definitions of this particular age group. So we're talking specifically about the ages of 15 to 18, according to the CDC. And you know, they kind of break it down to like mid teens, 14 to 16 and late teen teens of 17 to 18.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yep. And just like we've said, every single week, there is kind of this debate right about whether it's about the years old they are whether it's about milestones. And you know, we talked about last episode in the preteen years, which I mean, even Laurie and I were like, well, what would you say is preteen? What years would you say? There's just like, it's kind of open ended. It's flexible. But there is some really interesting information about when the teen years end. But again, we're gonna talk about next week when we talk about parenting young adults, but just know that these are not hard and fast.

Lori Korthals:

Yeah, exactly, exactly.

Mackenzie Johnson:

So I do want to know, as we've said before, I am a parent of like a preschooler and a toddler, Allison infant, not been an infant for a little while. But you have and have had, as we said, Yes. teens. So what do you say, you know, as a parent, what is what's great about this stage of teenage years? What's tough about adolescence, like, what do you what do you think?

Lori Korthals:

So my two words are independence and questions. So I think it's great that they have more independence. And then the, I don't want to say scary or difficult thing. I just, there was just a lot of questioning that happens during these years. They're questioning their decisions. They're questioning your decisions, you're questioning their decisions, and you're questioning your decisions. And so just a lot of questions and if you feel like you are constantly asking questions of them and of yourself, you know what, welcome to the teen years. I just think there are lots of questions along with that independence. So those are my words. Those are mine.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah, I love that those are good. Like, and yeah, things to look forward to, for me and things like, okay, that like, that time will come.

Lori Korthals:

I mean, if you think you're going to have all the answers during there, by the time they're teenagers, you've, you've got to just stop that thinking right now, you would not need to set your up for that kind of failure, you are going to have just as many questions as you did when they were infants, and I know, they can talk now and tell you things. But you're still just gonna have just as many questions. So yes.

Mackenzie Johnson:

And I tend to think like, yeah, not as a parent of a teen. But you know, like, I'm an older sibling. And like just interactions with teenagers. I think the things that come to mind for me is just like, it's a different kind of frustration that you experience with a teenager, than it is like the night experience with my toddler screaming at my leg, like my son did at supper, like when I was trying to make supper last night, different kind of frustration and like, but you should know, better! Well, maybe, maybe not. Maybe not. But we'll get into that, right? Let's talk about the domains.

Lori Korthals:

Alright, so the domains, the categories, the milestones, that you know, remember, those, these are the things that children most commonly experience across these categories. Like we said before, we're speaking in general terms and leaning on this text by Charlotte Patterson, for our episodes. It's great text, super in depth, we are just really hitting the highlights and the overview of each category or domain.

Mackenzie Johnson:

For sure. So let's start like we have basically every week with this physical domain, and right, this is the stuff we see. And honestly, this is I think, a lot of what comes to mind for parents is they're like, oh, teen development or adolescence. It's like, oh, puberty, right? hormones. Yeah, like the sexual maturity that's happening, the body changes, the hormones like flowing everywhere. And so yeah, we do tend to think a lot of that physical change, which is happening, we also tend to see like a growth spurt in this age, right? Our kids might look less like kids and more like adults. And we know that looks a little different for the different genders. And so but the other part of this physical development is actually brain development, which we've been talking about here and there and like, yeah, it comes out to play again, in the teen years.

Lori Korthals:

It does, it does, like the teen years are, like 2.0. Everything's bigger now. You know, their bodies, their brains, their limbs. Yes. All of it. Yeah.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Well, and so one of the things that's really related to their brain development, is this idea that they still are developing their prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that's responsible for things like planning, and consequences and self regulation. And so it's, it's not there yet. It's not there yet. Still developing.

Lori Korthals:

It is, if you look at the ages, we said 15 to 18, even an 18 year old, still has seven count it seven years left of brain growth.

Mackenzie Johnson:

At least seven.

Lori Korthals:

Yes. So when you think about that, oh, yeah, there's he there are some things they're just going to do wrong? Because their brains not done growing.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, that prefrontal cortex is a huge part of what's happening in the teen years. But the other thing which you just said, 2.0, right, everything's bigger. In the toddler years, part of that, which I just, I'm turning it to you, I'm turning into a brain geek this season. But part of what they talk about is that there's actually stronger neuron reactions to things. So things that seemed like this was not a big deal to my kid, two years ago, is suddenly huge. And it's literally the way their brain is processing that information, that that's happening in a more intense or in a stronger way. And then the other thing about brain development, and I love these terms, I remember learning them in my undergrad class, on adolescence. But this idea of, there's a new form of egocentric when it comes to genes, which were like, Hey, no, that was like a toddler preschool thing, and then they know what they were doing better.

Lori Korthals:

It comes back around.

Mackenzie Johnson:

So there's these two terms that I just like, think describe adolescence, so well, which is good, right? That's why research, you know, has these terms, but one being something called the personal fable. And so this is the idea for a teen, which goes along with that prefrontal cortex, but that like, oh, things that won't happen to me, like this fable of like, it's all gonna work out fine for me and so, oh, I won't be the kid who gets hurt. Or it won't happen to me like I wouldn't get pregnant or I wouldn't fail a class or all of these things that this idea of, well, that's not what happens to me. That personal fable is a big one. And then the other one is imaginary audience. And I just like I love, I think that's so descriptive of exactly what it is that everyone is watching me, everyone's gonna notice if I wear those jeans two times, everyones gonna notice, you know that everyone is in the room is paying attention to what's happening with me. And that's a huge part of one of the other domains of development we're going to talk about. Yes.

Lori Korthals:

Everyone can see that blemish on my forehead. Right.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. Everyone staring. Everyone noticed.

Lori Korthals:

Exactly.

Mackenzie Johnson:

So personal fable imaginary audience are another big one in their brain and physical development.

Lori Korthals:

Love it. So that brings us to cognitive or thinking or intellectual development. So all of those, those higher level processes that happen that, you know, be able are able to help us solve problems. We can have more abstract or even hypothetical types of thinking, what happens when, well, you know, how might this play out if we're also as teenagers better able to tune out distractions. I mean, maybe parents have called it selective listening, maybe. But actually, their brain is growing. And they're able to tune out distractions more, it actually almost reaches the adult level. And we all know about how we can absolutely have selective listening as adults. I plead the fifth on that. So like you said, they are, you know, prone to the idea of nothing bad will happen to me, or This isn't how my story plays out. They're also prone to this idea of over generalizing or making assumptions of an entire group, so they don't individualize very well. I can think of an example where my teenager might say something like, well, all of the boys in this class, think this. And my, my question back was, all of the boys or, you know, all of this grade, they act like this. And again, my question back is all of the juniors and seniors? you know, so this idea that override overgeneralizing to a population all the, you know, all of the band people all of the soccer team.

Mackenzie Johnson:

So that's literallywhat I was thinking. I'm like, the cliques, we think about in high school, it can actually be created by this mindset of, right. It's a whole group of teenagers all together in a building, yes. But it's really placing people lumping the characteristics altogether of like, right, jocks, nerds, you know, it's like the one of the old standing ones. But this, Friday of everybody who's in blank is this way, or shares this characteristic? And it's something their brain is naturally prone to do. It's sometimes I think we're like, well, Who taught you to think like that? their brain is programmed this way.

Lori Korthals:

Yes, it goes through these phases. And this is one of them it to get to the next phase. And, you know, they also during this time, are trying to meet others expectations, as well as trying to decide what it is that others expect of them. So they might focus on Well, I need to act or say this thing, because then maybe I will be accepted or I belong. This brings us right into another domain, which is language. And that that comes into where I said, You know, I really liked that we can have questions and have conversations, because they're able to, based on their language development, hold longer conversations, they're able to talk deeper about specific subjects

Mackenzie Johnson:

Or talk on the phone for three hours

Lori Korthals:

Talk on the phone, right? Yeah.

Mackenzie Johnson:

I did that I maybe did.

Lori Korthals:

Yes. Maybe.They can understand and utilize a lot of the, you know, quirks of language, we might say, or slang or the urban dictionary. I think we were gonna have you know, Kenzie, give us a little test about what does this phrase mean?

Mackenzie Johnson:

What does this acronym stands for?

Lori Korthals:

Ya right.

Mackenzie Johnson:

I'll fail. I'm sorry,

Lori Korthals:

I will fail, I will totally fail. But that, you know, that brings us right into that social domain.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Absolutely. And we know this is a huge thing that's happening. I feel like I say that, like in every domain, look at these huge domain. All of them are huge. But one of the really important things that we think about in the teen years is this idea of their self concept in their identity. One it gets more complex. Right, instead of, you know, as a little kid, it was like I'm blond, Like, that's what you know about me. We know it's a lot more complex. Yes. Maybe it's things you know about what things we think we're good at or that we're not as good at or personality characteristics or you know, those things, our interests help define our self concept, but also, that they're spending a lot of time thinking about their identity. Where do I belong? What group Am I a part of? Right, and my family and my friends and my activities? You know, so this idea of identity is a huge part of Team development. And it's worth mentioning that, you know, sometimes we joke about the teen years, but sometimes it's big, hard questions. It is right. And part of that is related to I know this identity thing is happening, which means our kids can be prone to like mental health risks and things like suicidal thoughts, and things like eating disorders, and those are like big, hard, scary questions. They are as parents.

Lori Korthals:

Yes, yeah. Absolutely. And questions that we need to be brave enough to ask. You know, especially, especially if we have concerns about, you know, what's happening socially, and how those social experiences may be impacting their own personal thoughts, and feelings.

Mackenzie Johnson:

yes, belonging in this idea of identity. Some of the other episodes we've done, we've talked a little about adolescent identity or adolescent belonging, you know, as you think about rituals and routines, and, you know, the social groups, and because identity is so important to what's going on with them, the impact of social interactions is huge. And that feeling of I belong, or I don't. And so we do want to like, take a moment and recognize that like, that's a big deal, and something big that we deal with. And it's a big part of that social, and identity development. A few other things about our teens, and that social development, we start to see more mixed gender groups and friend groups. We of course, that helps us with an interest in dating, and all that that goes on in the teen years. That could be its own episode someday.

Lori Korthals:

Yes, absolutely. Dating is differently. It is no longer, you know, two hours or two class periods. Like it wasn't, you know, preteen?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. And so and then, of course, in increased time, and focus meant on their friends and their peers. And I always like to remind parents of teenagers, just because your teen is spending more time with friends than they used to, or maybe you know, in 24 hours a day, that might mean less time at home. That doesn't mean you're less important. Exactly. And so those friend groups just that's a big part of their right, their identity and their belonging. Yes, absolutely. Yes. So that's all the domains, right? We want it really is 2.0 like this, the language we talk about language interaction again, and all that stuff. But I know,

Lori Korthals:

Sometimes there's this idea that, you know, teenagers are revisiting the toddler stage. And I think that as we walk through the domains, there is that but at the same time, you know, being respectful that, yes, they, it's their brain development that's bringing them back around to these next next set of connections that are happening in the neurons and yeah, some of them actually do look like toddlerhood revisited. But it's bigger and more important and involves many more people's. So be patient that, their brains are still growing.

Mackenzie Johnson:

And I think you know, as you describe it that way. Yeah. Well, let's respect our teens enough to say like, yes, you're not a two year old, like, right, you're, not just being a toddler or another word tantrum that used to set the team like don't call this a tantrum. But I do think a big part of the similarity is the huge transition that's happening. You know, I think that's one of the reasons why it looks so similar, so much brain development, so much change in transition.

Lori Korthals:

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Mackenzie Johnson:

From a baby to a kid, and then from a kid to into adulthood.

Lori Korthals:

Exactly. scary stuff.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah. big stuff, right. So for you, right, have and have had what stands out, like walking through all this, you've seen it in action and are seeing it in your home right now. What stands out routines.

Lori Korthals:

So, two things very specifically stand out to me. Three children, same household, three very different temperaments, three very different teen years. Right, they are different. And so allowing yourself to parent each child differently becomes really important. it like it's okay to have a different curfew for a child one than child three, they're different, you are different, their friends are different. And so sometimes we think of Oh, well, we have to you know, we have to be fair to child number one that is now 24 by having the curfew for child number three, who is 16? You know, be the same. Oh, well, do we really? I mean, this child number one who's 24 really care that it was, you know, 9 for her.

Mackenzie Johnson:

But will call you out on it?

Lori Korthals:

Yeah, yeah, I'm okay with that. I'm totally fine with that. You know, so just that idea of recognizing that each child that goes through these teen years is different. And secondly, that as your child goes through their teen years, they are not going through the same teen years that you did. And so I found myself with child one and two, and now the child three constantly reminding myself that this is their teen experience. This is not Lori's revisited teen experience. Just because Lori was apprehensive about this particular situation as a teenager does not mean that Leah will be apprehensive about this kind of situation as a teenager. And so it became very important to keep reminding myself A) I can make different rules and have different situations, different expectations. But B) I cannot try to make my child fix something through their teen experience that didn't go well in mine. And so those, you know, those two very different but similar things. This is their teen experience, not mine.

Mackenzie Johnson:

And I remember you talking about that, and our bonus episode on rituals on like, it doesn't need to look for them the way it looked for me, like they're gonna take a different meaning. And I think, you know, even our question last week related to like preteens, and like technology, and like, yeah, that was not my teen experience. And it can be my child's like and that can be okay, it doesn't make one good or bad.

Lori Korthals:

Exactly. Exactly. And, and again, you know, the difference in age between child number one and child number three is seven and a half years. So, yeah, a lot changes in seven and a half years. And for me to have, you know, this rigid line drawn, well, I'm going to have these same rules. That is, you know, that that feels like maybe I'm not respecting the individuality in each of my three children.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, that makes total sense.

Lori Korthals:

Which leads us into our parenting conversation, right?

Mackenzie Johnson:

It really does. So yeah, I mean, science of parenting podcast, that we're talking about how we parent teens, not just the changes they're going through, but how that affects what we do and how we interact with them. And so again, we get one more one liner from Dr. Diana Lange, who is an ISU professor with an open access book called parenting in diverse contexts. We loved getting to partner with her for this. And so her one liner for parenting teens, you ready? We're going to change our strategies to foster more autonomy or independence, more self regulation, and more responsibility. While, guiding teens is safety and positive decision making skills.

Lori Korthals:

I love it. Like I love it, changing your strategies, ding ding ding it is okay to change your strategies. This open this open source textbook says so. So research says it's okay to change your strategies. Yes. And Ellen Galinsky, we started talking about her at the beginning as well. And she refers to this stage as interdependent. So that slides right in there, that you're changing your strategies, while guiding them, working together with them interdependently. And so I love those two together to remind us, there is more than one way to raise great kids.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Sure is, yes. And I love that I love listening those three of like, what are we changing our strategies to foster independence or autonomy, self regulation, responsibility, like absolutely, the teen years are those things like we're encouraging those things, and that's like, okay, but we're not like tossing them to the world to do that. We're also guiding them to help keep them safe and help them make good decisions.

Lori Korthals:

Okay, that sounds like RPM three.

Mackenzie Johnson:

It kind of is, right? All of last season, I got to like geek out about that whole parenting model. And it doesn't come right back around. It's fostering these things. We teach them we mentor them. We model it for I mean, I think I think maybe I'm gonna say some of these words again in a few minutes when we go over the positive.

Lori Korthals:

Yeah, let's go to strategies. Lets go to strategies.

Mackenzie Johnson:

So again, tapping into some great expertise from the CDC on positive parenting tips, but like, practical ones, right? We're focused on in your own reality. Alright I learned this stuff about teens, what am I? What am I gonna do about that? A few of them for you here. One is being available and responsive caregiver to listen to their experiences. So there's that word respond. Right? We want to be responsive to our kids. And right, like we said, it feels big to them when things are going well. And so listening and connecting with them, is an important part of it. The second one is to serve as a model of responsible behavior. There's the M, yes, but we know I mean, we always said like our toddlers and our young kids are sponges, they're soaking up. Our teenagers are too, if we are inconsistent in our words and our actions. They're picking up on that. And so that modeling, and what, who used the phrase the other day? Oh, one of my colleagues is talking about someone who would cheat her and say this in a class that a lot more is caught than taught? Yes, especially in our teen years. And then the other one I wanted to mention was that we're going to continue this process of monitoring another m, from that parenting model last season, but we're gonna continue monitoring, enforcing safety rules, and accepting and supporting their individuality and independence. But we are we're still, they're not out in the world yet. We're still helping them make good decisions, their brains not usually ready for them to be out in the world all by themselves yet.

Lori Korthals:

Exactly. And the idea behind all of this is guiding them along the way. Because, Barb Van Swanson says, sometimes not always, they're going to make the right decision. And we have to be supportive when they don't. And, yeah, I think that I think that as we walk through these strategies, they're going to be moments where I remind myself, Oh, if I remember that time, they remember that time, right? So a couple of other strategies, communicating information and values, helping them to remember our family's values. So they can stand on those, as they make important decisions on their own. As we make decisions together, we stand on our family values. Serving kind of almost as a consultant as they make important decisions. Now, that might feel uncomfortable to some of us as parents becoming the consultant and not the final decision maker in some cases, right. But really allowing for those conversations to happen around why your team wants to make the decision this way. How did they come to that, you know, decision process? What did they think about along the way, you're the consultant, and maybe you ask a few more questions that they think about, and then allowing them to separate from you with an atmosphere of acceptance. So I know that you are going to be launched off on your own, and I accept who you are, who you've become, I accept your decisions, the processes with which you make decisions. I accept you. I may not always like the outcomes, but I accept you as a human being, you know, part of my family and that peace of acceptance is really important as they stumble and fall. as they have successes. And so, you know, I love that strategy, that strategy of acceptance.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. And I think, you know, as we think back on, like, the mental health, and we do see, you know, mental health risks in this adolescent teen years. And so I do I think about that protective factor that it becomes that your kids know, like, what is the thing about their identity and belonging, like, I belong here, like, I belong, I might make me cry a little bit. But I do like, I belong in my family. My family loves me, they want me here, they exempt if even if I feel like the dark horse or feel like the odd duck that like, no, I belong here, and I'm accepted and loved, even when it's hard other places. Yes. And honestly, all of that, you know, listening to those tips I kinda want to add on my own. Yeah, I honestly think of this finding this balance between, like risk and consequences for our teens, you know, that they get the chance to take some risk, that that gets a chance to make some of their own decisions, and then helping find appropriate, I mean, sometimes, right, sometimes they're the logical consequences that we choose. And sometimes it's letting them experience, the consequences of their choices. And so and yeah, I mean, I wish it was like this is how you choose this balance. And this is how You choose this balance. But again, like every team, every family is different every group, like the resources in your family, the situation in your reality, but that balance, I think just is really important have take some risk, like, you know, we don't want to say you could never on all the fronts because that can actually encourage them like, No, I'll show you.

Lori Korthals:

Exactly, exactly. I love that one. I love that idea of creating that balance. Sometimes I think about you know, is the is the does the consequence match the infraction? And we talked about that in the toddler years or even in the preschool years, like, does the consequence match? You know, what, what was the misbehavior? And I think that's really important to consider, again, as individual children, there should be different consequences for individual children, they're all different. You know, each child has different things that are meaningful to them. So we have to really think about, you know, what is a meaningful consequence, you know, the infraction, and you can't have the same consequence for three children, because one child actually could care less if you took this away and gave this consequences, right. So that's a great a great addition.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. All right, well, and then of course, we want to point you in the direction of more information. So we actually have a great resource from Iowa State University Extension outreach, called Living with your teenager. It's basically like a set of little newsletters, publications, just to scope out some more research based information on parenting, your team, that resource as well as other resources you can find on our science of parenting.org webpage. And along that kind of right hand side a little bit low. On that right hand side, you can see this box of ages and stages and click into that teen one, you'll find this publication written by Dr. Kim Greeder, who's our fabulous colleague, but just other great information about parenting your teens and preteens, too.

Lori Korthals:

Yes. So let's bring in our producer, this kind of brings us to our stop, breathe talk time. And it's that time where we as co host kind of take a pause and allow our producer Mackenzie DeJong to come in and help us think about our flagship strategy of stopping, taking a breath, allowing us to speak with intention and think about our interactions with children. So hey Kenz.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Hello. Hey. So I got a request from Barb Don Swanson herself to talk more about connecting that idea of where kids are at in brain development. And those, you know, that guidance for teens and the consequences for teens. You know, we've talked about guidance, positive discipline. In our bonus episode, we've talked about it throughout but to talk more about that related to teams specifically. So this is my and go.

Lori Korthals:

I have one more. I have one word, and that is currency. So when we guide our teens and the consequences, we really have to figure out the currency, what is their currency? What means what is meaningful to them? And how can we bring that into the way that we guide them through consequences? And misbehaviors?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Oh, I like that word. I assumed your word was going to be respect.

Lori Korthals:

I know. Well, that's, yeah, that's a word to each childs currency is different.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. And I think of work, like we said, in our bonus episode, you know, between these last few seasons, on positive discipline, it's really about teaching, you know, guiding our teams is about teaching them skills. And so sometimes that is with a logical consequence that we add in. But I think Yeah, thinking about it specifically in terms of brain development, you know, keeping that frame in mind, I think of, you know, I don't think we've talked about it in a while, but like the behavior reaction cycle between parents and kids, but this idea that like our brain, something happens, our brain has a reaction, and then we respond, but like we have a behavior and that goes around and then it goes to our child and they get a turn and then we get a turn. And sometimes that spiral goes upwards, and sometimes it quickly goes down. But as I think about that brain development with teens, that their brains not there yet, like Laurie so good at reminding us like that ours is like it is we have a fully developed adult brain, which means it ultimately kind of lands on us too. To break that cycle, or to determine the direction of it, because we have more skills, abilities and more brain power, literally, you know, to stop, take a breath, right regulate our bodies, and all of those things, we have a more developed prefrontal cortex that helps us regulate. And so and then, you know, and then talking, you know, and then saying, you know, shared discussions and open conversation and how we're the adult,

Lori Korthals:

We are. And I think that when we, when we step into those stop, breathe, talk moments, we can speak more respectfully to our child, they see us speaking, respect, respectfully hear us, here we go on the cycle, right, they then may choose to speak respectfully, they may choose to take a breath like we do. And so we're modeling the behavior of disagreeing with each other of talking through difficult conversations. I think that as the adult who has the brain cells, and neurons and connections all complete at this time, it's also our responsibility to not only be respectful, but it's our responsibility to figure out a way to help the child find a win somewhere. And what I mean by that is, sometimes, sometimes the consequence, may be a really big consequence. And maybe, maybe it's for a long period of time. And when we look at that long period of time, how can we help our child to have some wins some smaller wins in that window of time, while they're still accepting that large consequence. So a concrete example of this might be I, my child was late, coming home, and she didn't communicate. So she had the consequence of then not being able to go out on a kind of a big deal trip that her and her friends had already planned for the following day. And this big deal trip was actually kind of for someone else. So it was kind of a celebratory experience for someone else. And so the consequence was, guess what, now you don't get to have this really special moment with all your friends. And so she spent about 36 hours accepting that consequence, her friends were accepting of the consequence, they were trying to decide if they were going to go. She was very respectful during this time. And so about the time I knew the friends were going to start leaving, and I sent them a message and I said, Hey, why don't you all come over here? And let's have a conversation. And so they came over and they were wondering, oh, boy, we didn't do anything. We had nothing to do with her being late. And, you know, she's wondering, Oh, my gosh, what are my friends doing here? And I said, you know, here's the deal. Yep. She was late, she should have communicated, because she didn't, now your plans are ruined, and you all had nothing to do with it. So I'm willing to make a concession, I'm willing to think about different consequences for her to kind of carry out her sentence. But I'm also willing to let her go with you all, since you all did nothing. And she was the one that, you know, made the error. So here's what we're gonna do you all are going to come up with her new consequence. I mean, I have to tell you, what they came up with was way more than what I would have come up with, you know, and she accepted their consequence. The next day, she served out her sentence. She got to go with them. But, that is an example of helping the child find a win somewhere in I didn't want her to have to wallow for another 48 hours in this idea that I stink. I'm so bad as a teenager that I have ruined the you know, not only my last 36 hours, but now I'm about to ruin my friends 24 hours and and those are the real raw emotions that they think, right? This isn't just mom being overdramatic, like that's what goes through their head those words. And we don't want them to continue to say those words, you know, for another week for 30 days for whatever, however long that consequence is, how can we help them find some wins in between the serving of their consequence?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. And I think what you said earlier about matching the consequence with the infraction, you know, it sounds like that was the case where it was like, okay, but this consequences almost too big. You know, that you're like, I'm taking away from other people and taking you know, Big experience and yeah, like there's other ways to match. And I think

Lori Korthals:

Friends only turn 16 once, right?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Well, and then also the like this idea of like reason based consequences, you know that it's not like a flippant, you're right, we've we're stopping, we're breathing, we're talking we're thinking. And that, like, there's a reason why this is the consequence I've given you because discipline and guidance is about teaching. Right? This is about teaching. Well, you know, I don't know what to do. Like, I don't know how to trust you when this keeps happening. Exactly. You know, and that open conversation and, yeah, and using those natural and logical consequences, that it's not always the same consequences for everything that goes wrong. Right? It's about teaching. Yeah.

Lori Korthals:

And let me tell you, you know, when she was going to be maybe, you know, five minutes before curfew next time, I was getting text about I'm coming, I'm on my way. I mean, I shoot i don't think that child's been late for six months. And so so that's a win, like, that's a win. I didn't cave on the consequence. No, I changed the direction of the consequence. And well, like I said, her friends came up with way better consequences. Or serious about their job now as the consequence maker.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. And I think doing that without shame, like, that you give yourself the grace to say, you know, what, in that moment, this is what I decided. You know, this is not actually what I want. Like, this is not how I think we can teach this best way. And yeah, I love that. And then yeah, but it's not a matter of like, we don't want to belittle our team, right to teach them. You know, it's, like, you know, what this happened? And, you know, that doesn't go what the expectations I have, or that we share, and here we are.

Lori Korthals:

There's no reason to make someone miserable for 72 hours, when they got it after the first two, right? They, So how can we? How can we as the adult who has all of our brain connections together, teach and guide in a way that shows them we actually are willing to be flexible? We're gonna have flexible thinking, right?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. Yes. meaningful teaching, like flexible thinking and meaningful teaching with our guidance for our teams, for sure. Oh, I love listening to you talk about examples like that, like so good.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Thanks, Kenz.

Lori Korthals:

Thank you. Yeah, that wasn't so bad.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah. It actually it was like a, it was kind of a like, heartfelt conversation about guy. See,

Lori Korthals:

Oh, yes, it is hard. And I think that's the message we give our teens is, I understand this is hard. Like, what can we do together to work through this? Cuz this is hard for me as your mama to, right? This is hard for me to I've never, I've never grown you up before. I've grown your Sisters up before but I've never grown you up before?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. Yeah. So good. And yeah, so we did you know, thinking about, you know, we're talking about these teen years and or adolescence is the more formal term that people tend to use, but there's lots of different development happening, you know, the physical their brain development going off again, oh, and yeah, and that thinking and the imaginary audience and the personal fable and all of those things, and I just love, you know, we can kind of bring it all together with that idea of, you know, we're going to have to adjust from when they were little, we're going to change our strategies promote those things like responsibility and regulation, and independence, but still alongside them, still guiding their with that decision making and helping make sure that they stay safe.

Lori Korthals:

So thanks for joining us today on the science of parenting podcast and remember to subscribe to our weekly audio podcast on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app. watch the show on video each week and join us on Facebook or Twitter at science of parent and see our content in your feed.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, please do come along with us as we tackle the ups and downs, the ins and outs and the research in reality all around the science of parenting.

Anthony Santiago:

The Science of Parenting is hosted by Lori Korthals and Mackenzie Johnson produced by Mackenzie DeJong with research and writing by Barbara Dunn Swanson send in questions and comments to parenting at iastate.edu and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. This institution is an equal opportunity provider for the full non discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries go To www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext