New research proves what many parents have long suspected: Adolescent brains aren’t fully “wired” until kids reach their mid-20s. The part of the brain that helps kids think clearly and make good decisions (prefrontal cortex) is not as developed as the emotional “do this now!” part of the brain. As one scientist observed, “a typical teen has a well-developed accelerator but only a partly developed brake.”
Healthy brain development is profoundly affected by alcohol and drug use during the adolescent years. Research also continues to show that parents of teens can have a strong, positive influence in helping their children develop into healthy adults.
Using the Strengthening Families Program, families can practice skills that improve communication, strengthen family bonds, and help teens avoid drug use, violence, and other problem behaviors.
Families attend this seven session program together. We provide a family meal followed by separate parent and tween discussion groups. Youth learn to handle frustration, resist peer pressure, appreciate parents/caregivers, and learn about setting goals for the future. Parents/caregivers will discuss what youth this age are like, how to make rules and consequences, how to solve problems with youth, and ways to show love and support. Families practice having fun together through structured activities, discuss what makes their family strong, and practice solving problems together. Childcare is provided for younger siblings.