So I ask myself, why did I mess up so much?
Easy: Because I had too much free time; because during the afternoons and summers I did not have anything to accomplish. I did not have a hobby, I was not participating in any sports and was not focusing on my grades.
Research shows that teenage appetite for novelty, and a tendency to act on impulse without regard for risk is because their brains are still developing and haven’t reach maturity.
A child’s body goes through physical changes that are evident to all of us as parents. Yet, less evident are the changes taking place in our kids’ minds, particularly as they enter their teenage years.
Adolescents have to deal with questions and challenges when their judgment is not yet fully developed; when they haven't had the time or experience to acquire a real sense of the world.
For us, as parents, with a 'fully' developed brain, is not easy to deal with these pressures, much less for someone that is in transition from childhood to adulthood. That is why, it is so important to understand what our kid's minds are going through when we are monitoring their academic and social challenges.
Teenagers are constantly looking for adventure and wanting to explore, learn and have fun. So when they are bored, left with nothing better to do, is when they get in trouble. With plenty of time on their hands they might find new forms of entertainment: Exploring drugs, alcohol, sex, and/or vandalism.
So our job, as parents, is to keep them busy with productive activities to cut down on boredom and give them something to accomplish. When they are involved in classes, sports, or in something that interests them and contains a goal they wish to reach, they are less likely to risk throwing it away by acting wrong.
Always keep in mind that teenager’s brains are still developing and have not reached maturity. When teenagers are bored and have too much idle time is when they make bad decisions!