Why Do Smart Kids Sometimes Make Awful Decisions?

All of us who have kids seem to get more and more worried when we hear news about risky behavior by teens and college students. Everything would make sense if these were individuals in difficult situations.

What scares us the most is that these are stories of smart kids who have excelled academically but still got into trouble. Why does this happen? Is your kid at risk? Let’s take a deeper look.

The lack of brain development

The first problem we would like to address is the difference between being legally an adult and being an adult mentally. At 21, kids can drive a car, legally drink, be tried as an adult and die for their country.

Just because they have the same rights as someone several decades older, doesn’t mean they are fit to take advantage of them. In fact, the human brain develops until the mid to late twenties.

Several studies have revealed, that in teens, the frontal lobe development was not completed, unlike with adults. This particular area of the brain is important for “executive functioning.” Judgment, empathy and controlling your urges are not completely possible until the late 20s.

Why Do Smart Kids Sometimes Make Awful Decisions

A crucial role of the environment

And what happens when a mind that is not ready meets all the trials and tribulations of the adult world? Oftentimes, disaster. It seems like the environment plays a crucial role in exacerbating existing risk factors in the teenage brain. With the bigger cultural and social impact that drugs and alcohol have in recent years, many otherwise mature and smart kids partake in these activities detrimental to them.

To make matters worse, it has been proven that psychoactive substances have a stronger effect on the brains of young people, compared to adults. Lots of individuals who have never tried anything do so because they’re afraid of being cast off.

It’s a vicious circle, and we at Insight Substance Abuse Treatment Center understand the role of social stigma in teenage years. Having an expert help your kid is crucial in the teenage years, so don’t hesitate to book an appointment.

What can you do to help your child?

One reason why children partake in risky activities is a lack of knowledge. Therefore, you must educate your children from an early age, about every facet of life. Don’t shield them just because something is deemed socially inappropriate.

Teens deserve to know, and when they’re prepared for the challenges ahead, they will act with more maturity, as well as confidence.

Be open and answer every question thoroughly, without phrases such as “You’ll find out when you’re older” or “Just because I said so!’’ Patience is the key, and while it may be hard, it’s the best way to raise a young person the right way.

The risks and temptations of youth are many. Visit our “Contact Us” section and book an appointment for either teen rehab or teen group therapy.  We at Insight Substance Abuse Treatment center nurture a pleasant environment that stimulates personal growth and a rational approach to problems.