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A parents guide to how the prefrontal cortex, amygdala and neurons change during adolescence.  

As if body changes aren’t enough, the tween years also bring major changes in moods, behaviors, interests, and the way they think. Suddenly, your child can sling some attitude, text without looking, and argue you to death-all at once! Many of these new “skills” are blamed on raging hormones, but the truth is that most of them are actually caused by all the shiny new neurons and hardwiring going on in your adolescent’s brain.

As recently as a few decades ago, scientists thought the brain was finished growing around age two, and “data entry” was all that happened after that. Today, through advanced medical imaging techniques, we know that the brain begins a second, large growth spurt around age twelve and finishes up in the early...

"It got to the point where I would scroll through my accounts and not recognize the girl in the photos; she looked pretty, happy, and popular, but she wasn’t me."

Whether loved or despised, the use of internet and social media has become an integral part of daily life for most Americans, who on average spend over eleven hours a day on virtual media. Long days of research in the office or classroom transition easily into nights of television and Netflix, phones are pulled out even just to wait in line to get coffee, and I hardly know anyone who doesn’t check their texts first thing in the morning. We have deemed this type of behavior socially normal, rather than focusing on the addictive patterns it...

Songwriter girl camp. I don’t know. It sounded a little too Disney-channel for me. But, it wasn’t for me or even for girlology. It was for my daughter who sings [constantly, I’ll add with a smile] and is interested in the art and craft of songwriting.

So with guitar, hook book, and a hand-held recorder, we boarded a plane for Nashville and headed to Songwriter Girl Camp.

What my daughter got out of it is worth her own blog, or rather, her own song—which you might just hear on the radio one day. What I got out of it is even bigger than that (for me). It was confirmation. Assurance. Another verse for my anthem. My girl anthem. Uh huh. Oh yea. Girl power, girl strength, girl wisdom, girlosophy. I was watching things that I...