They remind us that we aren’t alone in this, and that our children aren’t the only ones that seem to have gone completely bonkers at this age.
Does this sound familiar at all:
“We were convinced our son was brilliant, homeschooling was great,
and really, our parenting and teaching skills were awesome, too. Yes,
sir, life was sweet.
Then he turned nine, and the wheels fell off the train.
That year, school fell apart. Math was an all-day ordeal. Often, it
seemed, it was the only thing we got done. Everything he did took
forever, and he was constantly getting distracted.”
I had a similar experience with my son in our homeschool. He has become easily distracted and simple tasks dragged on and took forever! Hal and Melanie give an explanation as to why this happens, and it’s no ones fault.
Or how about this scenario:
“Son, go get me my keys,” one of us would tell him. The car keys were
always left on top of the microwave oven in the kitchen. No variation.
Forty-five minutes later, we’d find him wandering aimlessly around
the house. His shades were up, but no one was home.”
There have been SO MANY times when I would ask my child to do something, and the response would be “okay, just a minute”. And then 20 minutes later I’d go back and ask why he hadn’t done the task. I’d get a blank stare, and he didn’t even remember being asked in the first place. This was always so baffling to me, and frustrating!
It just can’t be helped. Hal and Melanie reassure us that this is a normal occurrence:
“During puberty, the part of the brain changing the most is the area
that controls executive functions. These are tasks like problem
solving, priority setting, short term memory, attention, and focus.
This is the center of common sense and good judgment, the part
which decides, “This thing—Good idea? Bad idea?” ……
Neurologists say that during early adolescence, these parts of the
brain actually unravel; there truly is a temporary loss of function
as the neurons re-assemble into their adult configurations.”
Well, it all makes much more sense now doesn’t it?! They give some great advice and tips for coping through this stage, but of course there is no “cure” and we just have to do our best to be understanding and supportive of our children as they make this confusing transition from child to teenager.