Research shows the more Developmental Assets (protective factors) young people have, the less likely they are to engage in high-risk behaviors and the more likely they are to thrive. The Legacy Center, along with our community partners, has been building assets in our kids for more than a decade. In this session, Pam Singer, a research associate at The Legacy Center, will discuss the challenges our youth are facing and share strategies for how you can help your teen acquire Developmental Assets.
Understanding your teen’s brain development will help you better understand their decisions, thoughts and behaviors. In teens, the parts of the brain involved in emotional responses may actually be heightened. They are able to “feel” passionately about music, politics, families, school and friends. But keeping this passionate ability to “feel” in check or manageable is a secondary brain development process. It comes later and is more complex. Because teens feel so passionately, but don’t have total brain development to manage those feelings, we see more unpredictable or extreme emotions which can lead to more impulsive behaviors. Our special guest, Dr. Erin Smith, Ph.D, of Partners in Change Psychological Services, will give us additional insights into the teen brain, as well as strategies for navigating the emotional roller coaster that is adolescence.