If I could give you one gift it would be to see yourself through my eyes and then you would see how special you really are.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Why are we not enough?

The ranting of a 7 year old maybe tiring, even exhausting but I have found that they don't tend to do me any real emotional damage. Tirades of I hate you or I wish you weren't my mum tend to be ignored as I am sure she doesn't mean it, she is just lashing out at me. (She has been lashing out at me quite a lot over the last few days, so although I am fed up with the noise I'm getting quite used to it and am learning what the trigger points are, so am becoming quite adept at avoiding some of them)

However, teenagers are a completely different matter, they can be very articulate when they want to be. They know exactly which point to press and then twist that point with exactly the right word, phrase or argument so ensure that they cause the maximum amount of pain.

"Why aren't we enough, why did you want more?" Was child 1's anguished question. Well, what a question. When I had three children were they enough? Obviously not as we have added a fourth. I wasn't complete with three and I think it likely that everyone is hoping that I've found completeness with four, including me. I always wanted between 4 and 6 children and I always wanted to adopt, so the journey to this adoption started many years ago in my dreams and I've been lucky enough that others have been willing and wanting to join me on my path. However, I am very aware that the children, although they have had a say and their opinions are important to me are having to walk with me regardless. Adding another child whether through birth or adoption is a huge lifetime change for a family, everyone's place within the household changes (even the dog is slightly psychotic at the moment) and by introducing a two year old we haven't had the slow introductory period that we would have had with a baby. No we have dropped a live hand grenade into the centre of a what was occasionally, a calm household and are now left dealing with the fallout. Of course this fallout will effect all of us in different ways and for a teenager who has started her GCSE years at school and whose brain is going through some major growth changes at the moment, will no doubt cause some emotional upheaval within the home.

Studies of the brain now highlight that it isn't only during the very early years that the brain develops in fact huge changes occur during adolescence, hence why so many teenagers behave in such erratic, irresponsible and selfish ways. By understanding this normal phenomenon, hopefully I can help our teenagers stay connected.

Sarah Jane Blakemore talked about this on a TED talk and a paediatric neurologist Francis Jenson studied the teenage brain when her sons hit their teenage years.

"Recent studies show that neural insulation ( a completely connected frontal lobe) isn't complete until the mid-20s. This also may explain why teenagers often seem so maddeningly self-centered. "You think of them as these surly, rude, selfish people," Jensen says. "Well, actually, that's the developmental stage they're at. They aren't yet at that place where they're thinking about — or capable, necessarily, of thinking about the effects of their behaviour on other people. That requires insight."
And insight requires — that's right — a fully connected frontal lobe."

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