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Home > Health Library > Helping Adolescents Develop More Mature Ways of Thinking
Adolescent thinking tends to be focused on the present. But adolescents and teens are rapidly learning new skills related to complex reasoning, inductive and deductive reasoning, sensitivity toward others, flexibility, and problem solving.
Remind yourself that it is normal for adolescents to have a sense of being uniquely invincible, to have an "it will never happen to me" mind-set. This way of thinking may limit their ability to assess situations, risks, and future consequences. As a result, they may engage in risky behaviors and test authority.
The following are some ways you can help your adolescent develop reasoning skills and cognitive abilities.
Try making concrete observations and asking direct questions. For example, if your child seems troubled by something, say "You look like you've had a hard day," or "You look sad—do you want to talk?"
Teens usually appreciate an adult's genuine concern and interest.
Talk about the pros and cons of what he or she wants to do. Don't dismiss it. If needed, work together to find something your child can do that would be safer and would still meet the same need. Think about whether it would get in the way of your child's chores or other duties.
Discuss different options. Use learning exercises, such as role-play, for finding solutions to problems.
These healthy habits include wearing seat belts or being drug-free. Try setting a good example and talking openly about these issues.
Talk to your adolescent about current issues and modern dilemmas. Be involved in schoolwork by talking to his or her teachers or volunteering at school. If asked, help problem-solve difficult homework.
Talk about how rules will be enforced. And be sure to follow through with the agreed-upon consequences when appropriate. Teenagers need and often want limits.
Current as of:
September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Susan C. Kim MD - PediatricsKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineJohn Pope MD - Pediatrics
Current as of: September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
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