There are truly moments when I think that I am living with crazy people.
Well, surprise, surprise - I am.
I heard a report on recent research on a radio program something that I should have already known:
The frontal cortex of the brain is not completely developed until a person is in her mid-twenties.
Ahhh, what an affirmation!
It seems that some very smart scientists have determined through their form of research that teenagers have not fully developed the part of the brain which:
Manages executive functioning and cognitive processing. Keeping organized in thought and in stuff is just plain difficult for them. This explains the number of posts about messy rooms.
Interprets emotions in facial expression! Ah, ha! They can’t tell when I am really disappointed? I DO need to actually say these things out loud.
Manages impulse control! Scientists need a NIMH study to figure this out? And we put these kids behind the wheels of cars?
Now, you may know a couple of theories of mine that has not yet been tested by a scientific study – perhaps I should apply for a grant for research that is also called my everyday life. The following could be considered to be corollaries:
Any teenager is smarter when he is in the household kitchen. All 5 of my current teenagers understand me completely when I am talking to them in the kitchen. Black and White is clear and non-negotiable. Their mother actually makes some sense to them. But as they move further and further out of the kitchen, down the street, off at school, or at a gathering of friends, you know as well as I do, their decision making skills are not quite as sharp.
A single teenager is smarter than a group of them. Yes. There actually seems to be more functioning grey matter in one teenager than there is in a whole group of them getting together. They seem less able to use what they do have in the frontal cortex; reasoning and decision making is more impulsive, less rational. Yup. Can anyone else corroborate these findings?
Being a little crazy helps kids to negotiate the unreal time of life they are experiencing. Don't you think so? Would you want to be 15 years old again?
Teenagers craziness is contagious to mid-lifers in their presence. Have you wondered why certain things came out of your mouth? Why you are acting the way you are? Have you felt a need to see an exorcist to get your own mother out of the words that are coming out of your mouth? I don't think it is completely our fault when we act a little "crazy". It's part of the tense, tizzy time with teens.
It makes perfect sense that they seem a little whack-nuts – they are. There brain is not finished growing.
So I am not the insane one…. At least on a good day.