Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, by Daniel J. Siegel

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  1. Just finished this book on that intriguing creature that is the adolescent brain.

    I read it and listened to it both. A little slow in the middle, but definitely worth the time to better understand the adolescent mind and normal (but seemingly abnormal) adolescent behavior!

    He describes the ESSENCE of adolESSENCE:

    “ES: An Emotional Spark is revealed in the enhanced way emotion generated from sub-cortical areas washes over the cortical circuits of reasoning. The downsides are emotional storms and moodiness; the upside is a powerful passion to live life fully, to capture life being on fire.

    SE: Social Engagement emerges as teens turn more toward peers than parents, the downside being falling prey to peer pressure simply to gain membership in a group, the upside being the central importance of supportive relationships in our lives. Relationships are the key factor associated with medical and mental health, longevity, and even happiness.

    N: Novelty-seeking emerges from shifts in the brain’s dopamine system with the downside of risk-taking behavior and injury, and the upside of having the courage to leave the familiar, certain, and safe home nest for the unfamiliar, uncertain, potentially unsafe world beyond.

    CE: And our Creative Exploration of adolescence is found as we push against the status quo, imagining how things could be, not simply accepting them for what they are. The downside? Not just conforming to life as usual can be disorienting and stressful. The upside? The thrill and passion of discovery—and the reality that most innovations in art, music, science and technology emerge from the adolescent mind.”

    (quotation from his website)

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