Mental Health

Teenage Mind

Teenager’s mind during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Mrs.Wood’s daughter used to be such a sweet little girl who listened to what she was told and did what she was supposed to do. Her daughter used to be a good little girl who did all her chores and finished all her homework before she watched her favorite TV program at 6 o’clock. But these days, she seems to have changed a bit. She doesn’t listen to her mother, she doesn’t do her chores, and she never does her homework until the last minute. Mrs.Wood wonders what happened to her daughter.  

Her daughter, Rachel Wood, is now 14 years old, a teenager. Since about two weeks ago, her attitude towards everyone, especially her parents, started to change. Something in her mind significantly changed, and her parents noticed it. Her mind started to work a little differently from how it used to work, especially when it came to listening to her parent’s talk.   The more they talk, the more she gets tired of it. She listens to what they are saying at first, but a little later her mind drifts off to somewhere far away. However, even during that time when her mind is surfing somewhere in Hawaii, she gets what her parents are saying, although she doesn’t get why they’re saying it. “Use your time wisely,” her mom says. “Listen to audiobooks when you’re in the car and stop wasting all your time watching youtube.” ‘Why is she saying that again?’ Rachel thinks. ‘Didn’t she say that yesterday?’ Rachel cannot understand why her mom is saying the same things over and over again.  

Then at some point, everything her mom says becomes nothing more than her mom just nagging at her about the same things that aren’t even important. She grows sick of listening to all the nagging. All the negative feelings pile up inside her one by one and all of a sudden they explode. “You say the same thing over and over again. I can’t stand the nagging any more! Why can’t you just leave me alone?” Now, it all explodes. Her parents are surprised, and then angry. Rachel is grounded for being impolite, but she thinks, ‘What did I do so wrong? I told the truth. It is true that they never compliment me these days. Every word coming out of their mouth is negative.’   And there is the cycle. It will repeat until who knows when. The teenage mind of Rachel works quite differently from that of her parents, with a desire for some sort of independence from her parents. Most teenagers tend to act impulsively and dangerously. 

Rachel’s mother believes it may be because of the lack of socialization her daughter is facing during the pandemic.  However, there are in fact scientific reasons for this kind of behavior with or without the pandemic. A part of the brain, the amygdala, is the region that is in charge of immediate reactions, like fear or aggressive behavior. This part of the brain develops earlier than the other parts during adolescence. However, another part of the brain, a region called the frontal cortex that controls reasoning develops later than the amygdala. This part develops and changes into adulthood. Therefore, since the emotional region of the brain develops faster than the region that controls rational thought teenagers often show rebellious and irrational behavior.   Although not in all cases, these are the reasons why teenagers behave the way they do and don’t go well with their parents.   

Categories: Mental Health