Ep 122: Why Teens Rage and What To Do About It
You’ve been asking your teenager to unload the dishwasher for days, only to be brushed off every time. One day, you decide that enough is enough–your teen has lost the privilege of having their phone until they unload it. You announce this to your teen, explaining with a perfect sense of calm why this has to happen….but suddenly, your teen flies off the handle! Furious, they hurl insults, exclaim protestations, and then refuse to come out of their room. Why are they getting so worked up over such a small event?
It turns out that this response is a part of a complicated evolutionary brain mechanism, one intended to keep us safe...but can sometimes misfire. It comes down to how we’re wired to face threats, whether we’re being followed down a dark alley or getting into an intense facebook fight! Understanding how this mental system works can help teens from making some impulsive mistakes–and help parents stay cool when arguments with teens heat up.
This week we’re sitting down with neuroscientist Dr. R. Douglas Fields, author of Why We Snap: Understanding the Rage Circuit in Your Brain and Electric Brain: How the New Science of Brainwaves Reads Minds, Tells Us How We Learn, and Helps Us Change for the Better. Dr. Fields is a leading researcher in the field of brain science, studying everything from experimental usage of brain waves to developmental psychology. Today, we’re talking about aggression: why it comes so suddenly, how it affects our body, and what we can do about it.