Wait, I’m a kid! I want to go to Healthy Harold! Take me there now
Let’s start with your brain! Right now, as an adolescent (fancy word for teen), your brain is undergoing some incredible development. It’s working hard to create strong connections and pathways, many of these will be there the rest of your life. Your brain can tell you stories when you're sleeping. It sends you alarm signals to run or fight when it senses danger. If you think about it, your brain is pretty amazing!
As your body grows and changes so does your brain! It matures by fits and starts in a sequence that moves from the back of the brain to the front. These images show 15 years of development, pruning and stregthening of neurons and nerve pathways. Scientists have found the brain isn’t fully mature until about 25 years old and the last part of the brain to develop is the prefrontal cortex, the ‘Boss’ part of the brain.
By 5 years old your brain is already about 90% of its adult size. You are able to hop, skip, run and jump as well as explain emotions and how you are feeling. You could probably remember where you lived, how old you were and when your birthday was. You probably understood rules and the simple reasons behind why they exist.
By 12 years old you will have developed some reasoning abilities, be able to see the bigger picture and look past just yourself. You will be able to judge and interpret what someone is telling you rather than just listening. Motor control and athletic ability significantly increase between 5-12 years making physical skills especially easy to learn.
Teen brains tend to process information with the amygdala, the emotional part of the brain. In teen brains, the connections between the emotional part of the brain and the decision-making center are still developing. That’s why teens can make decisions less about thinking and more about feeling.
The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls reasoning, impulses and awareness of long-term consequences, does not fully mature until around the age of 25. So even at 20 a person can still sometimes make decisions with emotions more than intelligence.
The average human brain weighs about 1.5kg and has the consistency of thick jelly! It’s the command center for our body, it makes new connections in seconds and new pathways in minutes. Life is constantly changing our brain, from storing a memory to learning a new skill.