Keeping Kids Safe: The Developing Teenage Brain

Remember the teenage brain is still developing and teenagers do not always make the wisest decisions. As teenagers go through puberty they experience hormone surges, which combined with their lack of full frontal lobe development (the part of the brain used for reasoning and problem solving), can increase their risk to make poor decisions regarding sexual behaviors.

Due to these poor choices we need to keep teenagers safe from themselves and children safe from teenagers. A significant percentage of child sexual abuse cases each year are the result of juvenile offenders. Often these teens have no known prior offenses and seem to reflect acts of curiosity, rather than predatory actions. Here are some tips to help keep your child and teenager safe:

·         Have safety guidelines in-place for teens who are babysitting, including frequent check-ins and/ or the “Nanny Cam.”

·         Ask your children about their experiences with questions like, “What do you like about him/ her?” or “What do you wish he/ she didn’t do?”

 

Source: The Developing Teenage Brain, Children’s Home Society of South Dakota