Create a Better Brain Through Neuroplasticity – Those Pesky Teens

Create a Better Brain Through Neuroplasticity – Those Pesky Teens February 23, 2020
A poster for the D.C. punk band Bad Brains, a band that isn’t what you might think by looking at them. Just like Debi’s book isn’t what one might expect while looking at books on brains.

We’re back with  a new chapter of Debi Pearl’s bad brains book “Create a Better Brain Through  Neuroplasticity” and today we deal with young adult brains. Last week is here and its about autism.

Debi starts the chapter with some very normal descriptions of brain parts and their various functions that isn’t entirely made up. Yes, Debi sciences here for a change. Debi explains that the Pre Frontal Cortex in your teenager is undeveloped and will not stop developing until he’s around 25 years of age. Keep in mind that the Pearls also push for young marriage, and Debi herself was still a teen with that under developed PFC when she married Michael. Explains a lot.

“These half-brained teenagers with full-grown bodies and overgrown sex drives also have loads of neurotransmitters screaming their self-importance.”

Anyone that has ever raised a teenager, a normal teenager not cowed and beaten in a cult can testify to this fact. When raising teens it is so important to realize that they don’t know it all while thinking they do and to take everything they say involving this with a boulder of salt and not take offense.

“It is scary now to know that I was a half-brained dimwit, riding a horse named Know-It-All to a battle against the forces of ignorance and complacency. The ranks of all revolutions are filled with young people under the age of 25.”

Yes, again Debi was married to Mike by the time she was 18, so that’s about seven years rushing about with immaturity raising children. Too bad she’s still stuck intellectually and emotionally in that same place.

Debi goes so far as to say you should get your teenager to repeat every single morning this affirmation:

“As a young adult under the age of 25, I do not have a complete prefrontal cortex, which means I might be inclined to make poor decisions, exercise poor judgement, misunderstand someone or something, or just don’t know  for sure if I am right about something. I am really very stupid. I must listen to my parents and those in authority even more than when I was four years old if I hope to come through in good form and without regrets.”

Stupid???!?!?! I cannot believe she would willingly have anyone call themselves that word. Talk about self-esteem wrecking and destroying, creating a laundry list of insecurities that would be enough to buy a psychiatrist that second vacation home.

Please never talk to your kids like this!

Debi goes on to state that if you are having struggles with your child by 15 years of age you will lose him to his own ship of ideas. Again, not true. Our own biology sets us up at that age to start loosening the parental child bonds in preparation for the day when those same children walk out of the door to take up their lives as independent adults. It’s helpful to keep that in mind when dealing with teenagers, and to remember to play out the line, give them increasing responsibilities as they chafe at the restrictions. Talk to your child, heart to heart, and figure out a way both of you can manage to rub together without rubbing each other the wrong way.

Then Debi moves onto tales of MRIs of adult and young adult brains, claiming that youngsters will almost always misunderstand other people and their emotions towards them. She does not say it, but part of me wonders if this is not a sneaky way to shut down kids telling their parents about abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and physical abuse at the hands of others.

Debi jumps to drunk driving and drugs, pointing out that this is the time it is likely to happen. Debi tells the dumbest tale of her “Johnny Angel” a kid she knew as a teen fooling around with the wrong girl and wrapping his old junker around a tree. Sounds like a bad song from the 1950s, doesn’t it?

One page is all that is spared for the driving engine that is teen sexual development, and it’s described as ‘hormones’ Her own advice is this.

“The key is to fill his life with challenging opportunities–things that will burn hormones in constructive pursuits.”

In Debi’s idiotic world of the imaginary 1950s girls do not struggle with raging pants parts. In the real world we live in we know that this is simply not true. Girls can struggle with the same temptations as boys.

Debi wastes a further five or six pages claiming that the only way to deal with teenagers is to keep them so incredibly busy they don’t have time or inclination to rebel or do the sin pants dance. Mission trips and building stuff is her solution.

Next week Debi explains how to have ‘Big Brains’ So, SO thrilling!

Part 1 ~ Part 2 ~ Part 3 ~ Part 4

Part 5 ~ Part 6 ~ Part 7 ~ Part 8

Part 9 Part 10 ~ Part 11 ~ Part 12

Part 13Part 14 ~ Part 15

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

I Fired God by Jocelyn Zichtermann

13:24 A Dark Thriller by M Dolon Hickmon

About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.
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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Saraquill

    Michael has poor judgement, makes poor choices, and misunderstands all the time. He’s not subject to the treatment she preaches.

  • AFo

    I’m surprised that she’s so focused on boys, considering that QF’s whole philosophy is built more around controlling female bodies and sexuality2. I’m not surprised that she’s advising parents to attempt to stamp out any sign of rebelliousness, despite the fact that rebellion and testing boundaries is an important stage of development.

  • Meurig ap Gweirydd

    How are pubescent children supposed to know about the effects hormones have on teenagers if stupid adults don’t tell them anything about the subject? Generations of stupid adults like Lori fail in their duty to educate their children and then hold the children responsible for their ignorance. Education works far better than punishment, especially when you don’t understand what you’re being punished for.

  • Whitney Currie

    Sounds like a bad song from the 1950s, doesn’t it?

    I found the song you’re looking for, I suspect. This is the Pearl Jam….I couldn’t resist.

  • Shan

    I think it comes from how teenage boys in QF are considered purely driven by their sex drive, meaning every woman around them, including their mother, is responsible for keeping them in check. If your boys go out and do the naughty, then, it’s Mom’s fault she didn’t keep them to busy with work and Gawd to prevent it.

  • Saraquill

    For some reason, this comment is reminding me of the time I was almost suspended for not walking off with a strange man. I still see no reason to follow arbitrary authority.

  • Polytropos

    I have colleagues and a couple of older friends who have teenaged offspring. Noticeably, the ones who have the least trouble with their teenagers tend to be the ones who are least controlling. It seems if you communicate to your teenagers that they can and should take responsibility for themselves, they mostly do.

  • Mimc

    I’m pretty sure forcing your child to call themselves stupid every day is abuse.

  • smrnda

    youngsters will almost always misunderstand other people and their emotions towards them.

    If teenager do anything with adult level competence, it’s that. Many exist in social worlds where they’re much more concerned with what others think of them than adults have to be.

    Also, cool mention of Bad Brains, a band that deserves more attention.

    And though I think yes, the evidence shows teenagers do have some brain development left that won’t be finished until their 20s, declaring teenagers universally stupid and irresponsible creates a problem for all the teenagers who are responsible, mature, and accomplished.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I kept thinking about Bad Brains because they are one of the D.C. area punk bands my son was wild for.

  • Pattyrealdeal

    This is a remake of Last Kiss sung by J Frank Wilson circa 1964. Also another tidbit is that there was a song entitled Johnny Angel, sung by Shelly Fabares circa 1961. Not sure if you knew this. I love music from this era.

  • Delta

    QF girls & women aren’t supposed to have feelings or thoughts of their own, regardless of age. Boys and men, however, are allowed to have their own brains at some point.

  • Nea

    A generally sexist society makes it easier for Debi to practice gender essentialism on girls, who are told by secular groups to be quiet, dress for the male gaze, etc.

    Whereas her husband’s entire self-image is based on his incredibly shaky sense of his own masculinity, which involves not just a lot of carpentry, but also a lot of sneering at any male who is interested in intellectual work. (Mike-Mike once described a doctor and a lawyer as less manly than their farmer brother, for example, and he also constantly dumps on the type he calls The Steady Man.) So of course Debi’s going to fluff his ego by rushing to impress gender essentialism on men, who otherwise might be thinking about using their brains instead of their hands to make a living.

  • Nea

    It’s continuing the self-negation that the lifelong whippings started.

  • SAO

    Since young people aren’t able to make good decisions before age 5, they should delay a until-death-do-you-part decision until they are 25. Further, although teens frequently don’t make good decisions, they are certainly aware of when their parents make poor ones, too. And they are certainly aware of the stupidity and exageration of most CPM claims. In fact, a normal teen would be quite aware of the arbitrary and inconsistent and brutal ideas of the Pearls.

  • Tawreos

    Is it just me or does seem like all of these people that like to give christian advice for raising teenagers always act like teenagers changed significantly sometime after they became adults or like teenagers are an entirely different species all together?

  • SAO

    Yes and punishing kids because they did something they realize was thoughtless is a bad idea. The real trick is to try to be supportive, how might you do that better next time? And praise good decisions. Suggest incrimental improvements to things like grades or other things your teen could do better on. Pick areas of focus, don’t pick on every single thing. Make the consequences be a natural fit for the behavior.

  • Aloha 2

    Just because the PF cortex isn’t totally developed, doesn’t mean it isn’t partially developed.

    Plus, teens have sharp brains for learning. It’s easier to learn math and languages when you’re young than old.

    I think Deb is over-exaggerating this one thing as an excuse to totally control teenaged children.

  • Friend

    Debi wastes a further five or six pages claiming that the only way to deal with teenagers is to keep them so incredibly busy they don’t have time or inclination to rebel or do the sin pants dance. Mission trips and building stuff is her solution.

    …because no teens ever went on a mission trip to escape parental oversight and make out in an exciting new place where they wouldn’t be recognized.

  • Polytropos

    Do you have any teenagers? Because if so you’re clearly doing a great job of raising them.

  • Friend

    As a kid I had trouble remembering instructions if I didn’t know why something mattered. Reasons helped to glue the instructions in my mind.

    Example: Preheat pan on medium. I liked to preheat on high, because I felt like the pan was never going to heat up. Understood the medium part after learning reasons: the smoking point of oils, and the long-term problem of damaging an overheated empty pan.

    Of course, my constant why-why-why got me branded as a rebel and skeptic, or a space cadet who ignored directions, when I simply wanted an adult to explain a little more so I could remember.

    Everybody is this way to some extent. If I tell you to drive to work via Main Street today instead of your usual route, I should also add, “Fifth Street is closed because a tree fell into the road.” This should help you remember.

    If you can talk to teens about detours and hot pans, you might stand a chance of helping them form good friendships and romantic relationships.

  • AFo

    I’ve found the same as a high school teacher. Yes, obviously they need boundaries and guidelines, but they behave better, and get more out of class, when there is flexibility and trust as opposed to an authoritarian laying down the law and crushing every “infraction” under their boot heel.

  • ShaLaLa

    I haven’t raised teenagers yet either, although I was one for several years (and worked with them for 4 years too), and this is pretty much my experience. My sister and I were pretty easy teens, and people liked to ask my mom how she “controlled” us. The answer? She didn’t, because why on Earth would she want to do that? Her job and my dad’s was to provide guidance, support, and a safe environment for us to transition into independence, not keep us under their thumbs until throwing us unprepared into the deep end upon reaching “adulthood”.

    The result was that while certainly there were times when we weren’t perfect, on the whole, our home was a peaceful place where everyone got along pretty darn well, and the adults and the teenagers were on the same side. Seems waaay easier to me.

  • Polytropos

    Yeah, I bet it’s easier for everyone. In hindsight I wasn’t as difficult as some teenagers, but only because I was very careful not to let my parents find out about any of my *ahem* extracurricular activities and lucky enough not to encounter any problems I really couldn’t handle on my own. They were he&#8203lla controlling, but also weirdly neglectful in the sense that they didn’t care or, I suspect, actually think about what I got up to when they weren’t around as long as they didn’t have to see or deal with any of it.

    My relationship with my parents as a teenager was basically like when flatmates hat&#8203e each other: one of the flatmates will definitely be moving out as soon as they find another place to live, and in the meantime it’s in everyone’s best interests to try and be civil and not rock the boat too much.

  • SAO

    My youngest will no longer be a teen in a month or so. It’s kind of you to compliment me, but I have my blind spots, my fixed ideas, my occasional loss of temper or judgement, like everyone else.

  • Polytropos

    No one gets it right every time, and everyone has bad days. Kids know when you’re doing your best and modeling kind, respectful behaviour overall, and that’s what matters.

  • James Yakura

    Yep. Standard cult conditioning method: undermine the subject’s senses of identity and self-worth.

  • Jennifer

    Lord, that song kills me.