Wednesday, September 28, 2011

National Geographic and the Teenage Brain

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Today’s Blog Post
National Geographic and the Teenage Brain

Usually the National Geographic magazine deals with earthy stuff… you know mountains, volcanoes, earth quakes… or maybe the lost birds of a South American country. I have read this amazing magazine for many years and have so enjoyed the informative and authoritative style. Everything that has been presented has been well researched.

Further still, they have dealt with subject matters that others may not. Like who would ever tackle the Mass Grave in Peru? Or perhaps the Maya Royal tombs that have been found? Who really cares out there in our big and fast moving world? NGM does!

It may be the generation that we now live in that produces the kinds of articles that touch our core.

This week they have done this again. They have reached in and opened my eyes again. But it is not about snakes, bird or lost bears… it is all about Teenagers in our world – and how we need to understand them.

In a way this is very much like all the material they have covered to date… when they have dealt with mystery of the planet we live on.

There is nothing more mysterious than the Teenage Mind and the way that it makes the Teenage Body and Being operate inside the Family.

I am watching this closely as a Grandparent. As I write this three of my grandsons are coming of age. Coming from two families they are alike and yet different. But without a doubt they are teenagers.

In years past I have served as a Youth Specialist working with Teenagers of all kinds, shapes and sizes from many different ethnic backgrounds and societal norms. I was an “expert” at listening to them and working with them. I was able to do amazing things with them that their parents could not.

But having said all that I can honestly say that I did not understand how they could do some of the stupidest things possible on the face of the earth.

Now I am a Grandparent of six upcoming teenagers. Over the next 3 to 9 years! The signs that their parents are already suffering from tendencies to extreme stress from a teenager living within their homes… is definitely there!

One of my daughters flat out states that she could easily ship her son to faraway places and be completely at ease having taken that step. Her son is on the edge of driving her insane! There is way too much teenage boy living within her home.

And yet that same teenage son is as good as gold when he is with grandma and grandpa. Confusing? Completely!

That same teenage son is a model of manners and ability to show kindness to his teenage friend’s parents. Yet at home he acts like a complete Jackass!

This same teenage son was once a cuddly baby that his mom and dad showed off to their early world… And they will one day sit at wedding reception in absolute adoration of this handsome Groom who just married the beautiful Bride – their new daughter-in-law! But they will not really remember the fact that his teenage years were a nightmare of living!!!

The fact that this living, breathing, eating, sometimes laughing and other times acting out is a complete Jackass… and knows more and better than anyone else in the family including his highly trained parents… is lost with time.

How could I say that about my wonderful grandkids?

I used to be an idiot teenager too! I was worse than any of my 6 grandkids will ever hope to be. Beside my complete attitude as a Jackass Number 1 – they look like angels!

There the confession is out. My daughters can relax a little and understand deeply that they have done nothing wrong. Their children are next to perfect. But it is their Father’s fault that their sons act this way – completely – 100% !!!!
In the most recent edition of the National Geographic Magazine, David Dobbs writes a brilliant article about the Teenage Brain. YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED TO READ THIS ONE!!!! I cannot tell you how good it is to help people understand the Jackass that they live with!

It will help grandparents see more clearly that your son or daughter really is telling the truth about your “not so amazing grandchild”!

The Teenage Brain is less understood than the Volcanoes of Indonesia… and less comprehendible then the Small Fly that buzzes around the carcass of a million year old Mastodon in Siberia on a warm summer day.

As I write this I commend my daughters and their husbands for the great job they have done so far. And I say you are not crazy… or about to go crazy. You have and are going to survive!

But I also apologize deeply. I am the one that caused it all. These growing Jackasses are just like me!

And in one small way… it might help to see what I have done over 67 years of living… rather than what I did from 13 to 19.

Oh God… the thought just crossed my mind… these 6 grandkids will produce a possible 12 to 36 more living, breathing, eating, sometimes laughing and other times acting out complete Jackasses! And they will cause their once upon-a-time Jackass parents – the same headaches all over again.

Oh boy – I need a really strong coffee now to stop my hands from shaking!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 


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