Parenting #07 – Adolescents Brain

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Muhammad West

Channel: Muhammad West


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line which is on the regimes for Amanda Rahim al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa salatu salam ala mousseline signum from an early he was a big Marine, my beloved brothers This is a Santa Monica motmot law he obrigado

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amin opens into las panatela inshallah inshallah we'll be witness and testify that there's nothing worthy of worship because a lot and we send our loving leading salutations to beloved Nabina Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam is pious with your family to his companions and all those who follow you soon until the end of time. Allah subhanaw taala blessed us to be amongst them. I mean, when from Lila and Hamlet we continue our series on parenting, and shallow today we discuss the mysterious workings of the adolescent brain. And so we've moved on from talking about our kids during the infancy as babies and then through preschoolers, and then now inshallah, we've reached the age of

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puberty. And from an Islamic perspective, of course, this is a very important moment in one's life. Because puberty really is the moment in your life where you are accountable your macula, as we say in in Cape Town, mukalla, meaning you are accountable Allah subhanaw taala and I will reward you for the good that you do all son will be added against your name if you make a mistake, and almost finally can forgive, or he can punish. And so when does one reach the age of of being called off? Of course slowly, it coincides with one being sexually mature enough to procreate. So biologically, you now become an adult. And so things like experiencing with dreams of malaria, both boys and a girl

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girls can also experience with dreams. This is an indication of being color of a girl being able to menstruate. Of course, this is an indication of being called off. And if none of these indications of a win by 15. One is automatically McCullough. And just a reminder that this is amazing point system that Allah subhanaw taala has put in place for adults. So once you're mechanically an adult, and now the point system is active, how does the point system work? as the new system tells us that if you have a good sincere intention, you know, you want to do something good. And you have the Nia, you know, I'm going to recite this chapter of the Quran, and you don't do it. So something happens

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and you didn't end up you got busy and you forgot to do it, Allah gives you any What do you still get rewarded for that sincere intention, if you had a good intention, and you actually do the good deed, then Allah at least he gives you 10 points, or and the maximum there is no maximum. So you can get Jana, just by doing one good deed, you might be five grand, you know, put five grand in the towel at the masjid. And it was very, very sincere. And because of that our loved it so much he actually gives you Jenna, like the lady, the prostitute who gave that water to a dog, she was so sincere when she gave it water over not only washed away his sense of identity the agenda just by

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doing something small. And so therefore whenever we do a good deed, think of it as the opportunity to attain attention. On the other side that if you have a bad intention, and you don't do it already rewards you for not doing that that sense. However, if you do want to do a sin, your intention is the and you do committed, and Allah only gives you one negative marketing's your name. And so this amazing point system kicks in once you reach the age of puberty. And so along with the physical change itself, many of our our youngsters by the age of 10 and onwards, you begin to see changes in your body, you'll be you know, become bigger changes in certain areas of your body of what your

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voice might break, you might experience here in certain strange places. And these profound changes, what's happening underneath the surface is a lot of activity going on underneath the surface. So it's amazing how Allah is designed our body, that we have a biological clock, and we reach a certain age, certain functions or certain areas of our body begins to become active. So like we know, we become sexually mature, during our teenage years, we have the ability biologically to procreate. And so from a biological perspective, a lot of the six hormones begin to kick in, but beyond just a lot of discussion is that on hormones, and six hormones and interacting with members of the opposite

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sex, there is only one aspect of puberty. What's amazing is that is a major revamp that's going on in one's brain, your brain is actually changing its structure during puberty. And it's something which researchers have only learned in recent years with something called neural pruning happens during this time, what is neural pruning neural pruning. So basically, your brain is like, I like to think of it as a bush, and now your brain starts to shrink, but it starts to remove those areas of your brain that are not so used, so that it can it can give more resources to the parts of your brain that become that are that are more important. And so the structure of your brain is sort of

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becoming solidified. During this point of the elevations, your brain structures aren't going to change too much. And so as many psychologists mentioned, that it's very difficult to pick up a new talent or a new hobby, a hobby, but a skill set after your teenage years. So example, learning a new sport or learning an instrument musical instrument, this Hello homicide, but you would result in that someone is able to after the teenage years to pick up an instrument and become an expert in it. Usually you have to start before we at least during your teenage years learning these skills because

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Because your your brain structure actually becomes solidified during this point in time, and certain areas of your brain have been going through a lot of development, and other parts are not as developed. So areas of the brain that you will now begin to see yourself as an individual, different opinions. So independence and the need for self validation is very important as you go through teenage years. Also parts of your brain that is involved in emotions are going through a lot of changes. And that's why youngsters and teenagers are going through mood swings, they are dealing with emotions, as children, you never felt these things, all of a sudden, you feel the sense of

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embarrassment, you know, as a child, you can run in, you don't care what people think of you. Now, all of a sudden, you become shy, you become aware of conscious of your environment, or you feel, of course, romantic feelings, you also have a heightened sense of anger and frustration and fear, anxiety, all these negative emotions for the first time are really compounded. And that's because the area of our brain that is involved with emotions, is going through a major restructure. There's also parts of our brain that is the risk reward and the pleasure seeking part of our brain. So how our brains are structured, that if we do things that the brain likes, it gives us a hormone that

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makes us feel good, it gives us a feel good hormone. And so it pushes you to do things that the brain likes. Now, this area of the brain, in youngsters is also going through a lot of development. And so things like taking risks, or doing new things, seeking pleasure becomes very important. And the brain gives you more of a kick during this period of time. That's why teenagers are more likely to do things that will be risky, are more likely to seek instant gratification, then adults. And so the is a lower sense of inhibition. And you will tend to do things in your teenage years that later on, you think why did I do that? It's because your brain is pushing you to do those things. And

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Subhanallah This, of course, can become very dangerous, when on the other side. So you have on the one side, your brain is pushing you to do risky things and to and to seek out pleasure. It's also your highly emotional, you have a high sense of emotions, you also have all these six hormones running through your brain. At the same time, the part of your brain that is really in charge of thinking and rational reasoning and wisdom and logic, making good judgment, this part, which is called the prefrontal cortex, and the prefrontal cortex is, you know, basically, if you touch your forehead, that's where your prefrontal cortex is, this is this part of the brain isn't fully

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developed, this part of the brain only develops and fully matures in your 20s. And so you don't have the full ability to think reasonably and logically, you're also the prefrontal cortex is a part of the brain that helps you to understand other people, this part of your brain isn't fully developed. And so it's a very complicated combination, when making good judgment is tricky. And so the brain now is battling with these kinds of changes. And so as parents who are going so this is of course, is the series is devoted to parents, how do you parent, a child going through all these changes, your child was such a sweet, loving, obedient young boy ago, a year ago, and all of a sudden you

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don't know who the strange person is, who's constantly rebelling against you with constantly challenging you was going through ups and downs locked in the rooms, always Moody, you don't understand who this person is what's going on. So understand that this isn't they are also dealing with us as much as you dealing with it. It is really strange for them. And as parents, you as a parent now your role as a parent has changed. So when they were babies and infants, toddlers, in terms of teaching you on teacher toddler, anything you teach through play, you see nursery rhymes, you make them laugh, and so they learn through plate as they become a little older preschoolers

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seven years old, where they can understand reason, a bit of reasoning, we teach through memorizing, so you learn your, your timetable, you learn your do as you learn out to the to the site, you learn through rote learning and constant repetition. And basically, you do as you're told as a young child, then when you reach adolescence, at this point in time, you hope that they have enough experience in learning how to do things. Now it comes down to reasoning, you can't force them to do certain things. As a teenager, you can't force your teenager to do stuff, you it's much better for you to reason with them and try to convince them to do it through logic, according to the

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understanding. And so, as parenting you sort of take a backseat in terms of directing them now more as an advisory role to give wisdom and to allow them to come to you in getting advice. And so listening to a lot of research on parenting teenagers, also research on teenagers in terms of what they want from parenting.

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My kids are still quite young, we're still in the do as you're told kind of age. But for you who has a teenager, these three advices that many psychologists and orlimar as well. Give number one of the first important advice is understand that they are your children. Yes, but they are now adults. They're not children anymore. They are adults. There is no in between adolescence isn't really an in between your child. They

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about a young adult. And so think about how you would engage and interact with an adult, whether it's a junior member of your team at work, you know, a younger friend, how would you interact with them? So you will, how would you talk to them, you wouldn't say to an adult, you do it because I'm older than you, or you do it, because I'm your boss, that's something to work on all the you speak to them in the way you would have any adult relationship, you would, for example, you would give them expectations, you will tell them look, okay, you, you're a big person, now, it's expected, you come at eight o'clock, you need to do XYZ, if you do it, you'll be rewarded. If you don't, there

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will be consequences. And so this is exactly the relationship in the dynamic between a parent and a child, you also need to understand that they have their own challenges their own opinions now, and you need to validate the opinions. Now, it might not be that the opinion is right, it might not be that they make the right decision. We're not saying that every decision they want to do is correct. Or all the you need to sit down and at least listen to them and ask them, What do you think we should do? Why do you want to do XYZ? I disagree with you. But it's a discussion, we as children, you can tell them, I'm telling you not to do so because I'm your daddy. And that's why you can do

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this. I know now you have to really listen to the opinions, get to understand where they're coming from, give them a sense that they are valued as a person that they are not equals, but they can discuss things with you on equal footing, also understand that they are highly emotional. And so naturally, in any situation, whether it's your marriage, whether it's work, where there's a lot of energy in the interaction, we are going to be things that are said that are not the best. And so when they are going through an emotional high or low, it's best to you, as a parent, be rational, not add fuel to the fire, you remain calm, and maybe even allow them to ride out that emotional

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storm. And then you have the discussion afterwards. And so, for us as parents, we need to really allow them the freedom and the space to practice the new individuality to practice the new freedom and independence. But in a safe environment, I'm not saying that give your 13 year old Ford me on the car keys and let them drive. But maybe it might be in a safe environment in the parking lot, giving them the freedom to fine, you want to drive you've been asking to drive. Now I'm going to in a very safe environment, you can start practicing. And then of course, teaching them the consequences of, of what can happen with the dangers of the thriving curriculum. It's also important

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for us to to be As parents, we should engage with them as adults, you know, they shouldn't be looking for independence, we should be giving them independence. And then avviso Sallam was a master at this, he would actively look for young people to give them leadership roles in many times, in fact, also have will criticize, there'll be some say, for example, some of the famous he made or somewhere on the line, the leader of an army and Minister obstacle is so young, he's only a teenager, how can he be the head of an army, and then obviously insisted he will be the leader and of course was very successful, Musab another example. And so you can't always protect your kids from

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making bad decisions, they need to make decisions. And sometimes the best way to learn is in a safe environment making a bad decision. Because remember, whether you protect them now, eventually, they will leave the home. And they will enter this very big dangerous world, we everything is on offer drugs on offer, you know, six is on offer. atheism is of everything's on offer. And so the best you can do and hope is that they have the maturity to use the independence and freedom to the best of their ability. And so then you need to As parents, we need to actually push them to be independent, give them responsibility, you know, open up their own bank accounts, give them their own money and

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say when you decide what you want to buy, I can give you advice. But ultimately, it's yours to decide. I mean, you you need to be independent, and deal with the consequences. And so, for example, this is very important. Number two. So the first thing is I said, you're dealing with an adult, and almost treat them as equals innocence. Number two, remember that the approval of peers is going to be more important than your approval. So for the first time, you know, rather, you know, once they reach the teenagers, they realize they're part of a bigger world before the whole world will the moms and dads and siblings and the family. Now as they reach high school, for example, they begin to

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seek out the approval of friends and maybe romantic partners, and the views and opinions of friends will be more important than the views of mom and dad. And as they develop their own sense of self. And they began to develop their own views of things, they will look to the peers and try to conform with the appearance. And they will differ opinions of the peers. And so the interests and the hobbies and the traits of the of the peer group will brush off on them. So it's very important for us to realize that the Friends of our kids, our teenagers have a much bigger influence on them than we might have. And they might know our kids a lot better than us. And so what do we do? And this

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probably goes back to how do we know that our responses, a person is likely to follow the religion of his best friend. And so look to your best friend, look to your friends, and most likely you would be like them whatever they're doing, chances are you're going to be doing the same thing, whatever they are interested in. If they're all interested in a certain sport, you'll be interested in certain sports, they all dress in a certain way. You will most likely dress in a certain way they like the certain kinds of movies or books or whatever it may be. You mostly

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We would like that as well. And so look to your friends, because you would mimic them is it for me, so some, for the good or for the bad and other Hadeeth we know the Hadith of the the perfume Center and the blacksmith and resources, very important to choose good friends. And you know, as kids, they don't maybe know what is a good thing or a bad friend. So As parents, we need to guide them. Because a good friend is like the seller of perfume, if you spend your time around it, eventually you'll start smelling nice. Or if you've a bad thing is like a person who is working with smoke and fire all the time. Either you will burn you with his bad habits, or you will pick up his bad habits,

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you'll pick up the smell as painters, what can we do in terms of choosing things, we can't force a frame on our kids, rather, we can guide them, maybe we can think of creative ways of pushing them gently into a direction that we like. So number one, be aware of who the things are get to know who their friends are, have conversations with their friends, tell their friends to come over, spend time with your friends, make your home the place where they want to hang out until you can keep an eye on them. Also get your kids to join certain, you know, classes or groups or certain organizations or clubs that are good, it automatically interact with children that have that similar

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kind of interest. So for example, a certain society that's involved in science or technology, whatever, encourage them to go into that areas, because they will meet people that will have similar views, and perhaps it will rub off on them. And of course, you know, no, no one is perfect. If your kids have decent friends, they encourage them and get to know the parents of those those kids, and so that you can on both sides help your kids be, you know, find themselves in a good peer group. Because once they in a certain peer group, if it's bad, it's almost impossible for the negative aspects of that peer group to not brush up on your kids or be involved in your social interactions.

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Number three, and perhaps this is the most important one, and one that it gets neglected a lot. What we don't realize is that before you become an adolescent, your sense of right and wrong, your sense of morals and ethics and values your religion, for example, this is defined by your parents, you basically follow whatever ethics and models your parents have whatever religion your parents have, you basically default to them. When you become a teenager, you start questioning the values that you were brought up with, you start either you questioning or society's going to question it. And so for the first time, you will have your own concepts of what is right and wrong, your own concepts of

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religion, your own opinions about what is okay, you're not okay. And in fact, many times either kids will be quiet about it, they would disagree with the parents, but they wouldn't erase it, or they would actively rebel against the parents of us. pretty sad. You know, many, many times you find I have conversations with kids, not kids anymore. They adults, they in the 20s. And they really have different views. For example, Islam, maybe they, they don't agree with the parents on many Islamic things, or even completely on Islam altogether. And parents are separate. But they came in a household, we made Salah, they were in an environment at home, an Islamic environment, how did that

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change, because once you got out of your safe environment of the home, they began to form different associations and made up their own minds. And so it's very important that as they go through this awakening, and they start to develop the sense of self, that we as parents have input in that discussion, we don't want our kids to ask a question like, Is there a lot, you know, what's the religion? Why does Islam say XYZ, and they don't speak to us at all, or they speak to the friends or they go online, and we seek advice from incorrect sources. And they they form the opinion because once the opinion is formed, it's very difficult for for us to to battle it. As I said, the brain is

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really developing now. And it's solidifying. And so it's important for us to be part of that, that discussion. And so I would say, this is the time in their life that they most need Islamic learning in Islamic mentorship, to be in a class where they are challenged, where they feel open to discuss things agree or disagree, to think to say things that are very left field. This is the time when you need to have a very good strong Islamic mentorship program. And sadly, this is the time we take our kids out of Missouri Sir, this is the time when we tell them, you know, you need to focus on your schoolwork or your sports or your academics. And then Islam gets forgotten that we spend so much

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time in the academic success or the sporting success or whatever extramural success. But there is no guidance that we give them in terms of the religious, spiritual, ethical mindset. And we almost leave it for them to decide on their own. And it's really a miracle that in the environment that we live in, with all the weirdness outside, but kids just, you know, Hamdulillah, they come from a Muslim household and they just happened to meet Muslim friends who are of similar kind of Outlook. They meet a romantic partner was also a similar kind of Outlook, and they become an adult, it has the same effects a model, but the minute they meet friends or romantic partner who is very different

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to them. That is when you really you begin to see how flimsy your Islamic upbringing is. And so this is the time I asked Can I appeal to any parent that as a young teenager, let them be part of some kind of Islamic class or youth program where they can discuss these things, or you as a parent need to actively engage them and tell them why do you think this is

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Wrong. Why do you think this is the right? Why do you think this idea says x, y, z? Do you really think that there's an Ola, you need to be the one that engages them in this discussion, because this is when they're going to start forming their own own opinions. Lastly, in terms of our youth advice is a hadith we're allowed to say that Allah Subhana Allah is amazed, Allah is impressed by a youth, a young person who does not show signs of someone meaning he is not immature. Meaning that it's understood that as you go through the teenage years, and it doesn't matter which mode you grew up to me, when you were a teenager, you did things that you regret, or things that were not the smartest

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thing to do. It just comes with the territory, your brain is changing, you pumped with all these emotions and hormones, and you really don't make the best decisions. But if you're able to use your youth wisely, it is a blessing that is of the fee few things that you can never, ever get back. You know, you can always become charitable later in your life, you can always become a knowledgeable atheist, but you can never ever get your youth back. And so if you can use this time, in a good way, in a mature way, then that is planula it is something which can get you agenda, you know that of those seven who Allah will favor on the deaf karma and he is a person who uses basically his teenage

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years to please Allah. And what does a good youth look like a good teenager is not someone who's

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only, you know, five times a day in the masjid spinalonga was really doing all those things. Just basically a young, respectful young boy or girl who does the basics of solder would avoid the major sins in terms of you know, drugs and Hummer and sex and all those kinds of things, avoiding these big things, and doing the basics such a young person is really like a Wali of the early avulla. This is a very special kind of person, if you're, if your kids are like that, we're very thankful to Allah subhanaw taala they have blessed you with with teenagers, yes, they are some rocky moments and there are some misunderstandings, it's going to be like that until they reach the age of 20 and they

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become fully mature adults. But in the time being that if we can just grow up with a relationship with Allah subhanaw taala and this is of those very, very special people that are less favored. We also love to bless us, bless our youth, Allah protect our children, Allah subhanaw taala bless our parents for all they have done for us. Allah guide us to be good parents and children and Allah have mercy on those who have passed away and Graceffa to those who are ill. So one announcement that inshallah this Sunday 28th of March is the fruit of Shabbat and we would have our Shabbat program emotional Burano Islam so hope to see you there is like a love hate or some loss a Nemo Madonna he

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was happy with Salaam Celine Dion. Me