Understanding Teen Behavior: Maturation of the Brain’s Prefrontal Cortex

pre-frontal-cortexBy Cynthia Klein

The prefrontal cortex, the part of the frontal lobes lying just behind the forehead, is often referred to as the “CEO of the brain.” This brain region is responsible for cognitive analysis and abstract thought, and the moderation of “correct” behavior in social situations. The prefrontal cortex takes in information from all of the senses and orchestrates thoughts and actions to achieve specific goals.1,2

The prefrontal cortex is one of the last regions of the brain to reach maturation. This delay may help to explain why some adolescents act the way they do. The so-called “executive functions” of the human prefrontal cortex include: (more…)

Finding a New Discipline Path

By Cynthia Klein

boy_and_fatherParents desire to have loving relationships with their children so they will be trusted and their children will seek them out for support and advice.

While teaching my parenting classes, it becomes clear that well-meaning parents are resorting to ineffective punishment strategies, which hurt the relationship, because they just don’t know what else to do. (more…)

Five Reasons Life Insurance Is A Critical Tool To Provide For A Child With Special Needs

By Brad Elman

protect-childAs soon as we become parents, we’re focused on—and understandably a bit obsessed with—protecting our kids. We swaddle them to shield them from a chill, and we buckle them up in the stroller and car.

That urge to safeguard our children never ends, no matter how old they get. For parents of kids with special needs, that urge to protect is nothing short of fierce, because we know that our kids will be relying on us for their whole lives … and even after we’re gone.


Why Kids Reject Our Help

By Cynthia Klein

When I learned about communication blocks as an Active Parenting Course instructor, my life changed. I realized that if I didn’t take some responsibility for my daughter’s, husband’s, or other people’s negative reactions to what I said that I wouldn’t be able to improve my relationships. The more I took responsibility for learning how to build bridges to better understanding rather than barriers or blocks, the more I could create connected and close interactions. (more…)

You Should Be a Lawyer!

By Cynthia Klein

mother-and-teen“Why do you have to argue about everything I ask you to do? Why can’t you just cooperate nicely for once? You make everything so difficult.”

If your child has turned into a member of the debate team, then you are experiencing their prefrontal cortex, the logical brain, at work. Your “argumentative” child is exercising and practicing their reasoning and judgment skills. So next time your child doesn’t easily comply, try to think to yourself, “The brain is developing right now. How marvelous.”