“What were you thinking?”
If you’re a parent of teenagers, you’ve probably asked that question a few times. I know I have. More than once, Jean and I have looked at each other and asked about one of our boys: “What is going on in that brain of his?”
According to Dr. Jeramy and Jerusha Clark, our guests on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Understanding Your Teen’s Behavior,” there’s an avalanche of change happening inside a teenager’s body. From brain chemistry to a flush of hormones, everything is firing all at once. Your teen is likely just as confused as you are about what’s happening inside of them, which is why their motives for acting out aren’t always easy to interpret.
Jeramy and Jerusha describe it this way: Infants cry because that’s their only way of expressing that they have a need. As children get older, their methods of communicating get more sophisticated, but often not their ability to identify what they’re feeling.
In other words, teenagers don’t understand what they’re feeling enough to articulate it in words. They don’t recognize that they’re lonely, insecure, or that they need more attention from you. And since they can’t ask for specific help, they express their emotions through their behavior.
There’s plenty of confusion to go around, but we’ll take some of the mystery out of it with Jeramy and Jerusha Clark. They’ll help you better understand what’s going on in the mind of your teenager and offer insight as to how to navigate the waters of adolescence in a way that draws you and your child closer together instead of further apart. Listen to our full conversation on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or on our free phone app.
Dr. Jeramy Clark served as a youth pastor for 17 years and is now the pastor of discipleship at Emmanuel Faith Community Church. Jerusha is a writer and speaker. Together, they’ve written a book titled, Your Teenager Is Not Crazy: Understanding Your Teen’s Brain Can Make You a Better Parent. It’s available for a gift of any amount. Visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).