s children become teenagers their brains grow and change, which affects the way they think and act, often making communication challenging.
To better respond to them and offer support, it’s important for a parent understand how their child’s brain is developing during this period of major growth and adjustment.
From 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, October 20, a virtual presentation on “The Teen Brain” will be presented by Cadi Angeli, a school counselor at Sonoran Trails Middle School, for the A.W.A.R.E. Parents (Adults Working to be Active, Responsible & Empowered Parents) Forum. It is the first forum this year and will help parents understand their child’s developing brain, behaviors and emotions.
“I have been working in middle schools for 20 years,” said Angeli, who was awarded the Arizona School Counselor of the Year designation and represented Arizona at the White House.
“The most common comment I get from parents is, ‘I just don’t know what happened to my sweet elementary school kid.’ The answer is found in exploring all the changes that the average preteen/teen brain goes through as they start to hit puberty until they are between 25 and 28 years old. Knowing how the average preteen or teen thinks can also help parents and guardians adjust parenting skills to meet their kids where they are in development.”
“The Teen Brain” will cover brain development basics, how the executive functioning of the brain is under construction versus the emotional part of the brain that is mostly mature, and types of parenting styles that best suit a teen brain’s development. Angeli will discuss what to expect when you are expecting a middle schooler, in addition to sharing skills and techniques that will help manage a child’s behavior based on brain development.
“The material is presented in an easy-to-understand format that is relatable,” Angeli said. “I use actual experiences that I have had to illustrate the concepts, and I try to keep it light and enjoyable for the audience. If it goes well, we are considering doing the next forum on ‘Teenage Emotional Intelligence.’”
A.W.A.R.E. Parents strives to bring awareness to parents about topics relevant to raising kids in the community and offers workshops, classes and forums on everything from social media awareness to improving communications skills.
“The Teen Brain” forum is free, and anyone who RSVPs online will receive a Zoom link giving them access to the presentation. Additional time will be spent after the presentation to answer questions.
“My role as a school counselor is to support the emotional and academic needs of the Sonoran Trails students, parents and staff,” Angeli said. “I serve in a variety of roles that include one-on-one services, as well as education in the classroom. The parent forum is a great example of community outreach.”