07.22.14

5 Truths About Youth Culture  by Walt Mueller

http://www.cpyu.org/resource/5-truths-about-pop-culture/

Pop Culture is Market Driven
The children and youth market is the most aggressively targeted market segment in the world. The reason? They have more disposable income and purchasing influence than any other age group. Consequently, marketers both use and shape the pop culture in an effort to influence the values, attitudes, and spending behaviors of our kids while developing lifetime brand loyalties. By using market research to better understand kids, marketers are then able to turn around and use what they’ve learned to connect with and influence those most vulnerable in our society.

Pop Culture is Fluid
In order to grab and maintain the attention of children and teens, pop culture must constantly reinvent itself. What is new, edgy and exciting today (styles, music, ideas, icons, etc.) will be obsolete tomorrow. Because kids are conditioned to look for and embrace whatever is fresh, the purveyors of pop stay busy examining their research in order to shape and develop the next big “thing.” As a result, pop culture is specific to place and time. While there is always some overlap, it’s necessary for those who study culture to look hard for and identify the specific nuances of the popular culture in their unique place and time.

Pop Culture is Pervasive
Wherever there are people, there will be popular culture. It is inescapable. Students cannot be sheltered from it. Even if they don’t engage the primary outlets themselves, they live and move in a peer society influenced by the pop culture. In today’s world, the advent of MTV and the Internet has facilitated the effective exportation of North American youth culture around the globe. While there are unique aspects from place to place, popular culture is everywhere and as a result, has facilitated the growth of a globalized youth culture. It has touched and shaped virtually all social institutions including the school, church, home, and community.

Pop Culture is Entertaining
Because it is market driven, pop culture must grab the attention of children and teens in order to survive and develop. It enters into their lives through a plethora of outlets, grabbing and holding their attention and allegiance by design. In the increased absence of stability and influence from the traditional institutions of home, church, and school, young people seek out pop culture to fill their time and, in some cases, help them forget their pain. Because it must be constantly developed and updated, pop culture’s “newness” increases its effectiveness to entertain.

Pop Culture is Unifying
In a world marked by relational breakdown, young people long for connections. Pop culture serves as a common thread that runs through the lives of children and teens, giving them a common experience, shared allegiances, and a place to belong. Pop culture binds children and teens together.

07.22.14

5 Reasons Your Teen is Rebelling and How to Handle Teenage Rebellion                 by Mark Merrill

http://www.markmerrill.com/how-to-handle-teenage-rebellion

Teenage rebellion is nothing new. Rebellious children have been around since the first children inhabited the earth.  Remember Cain and Abel? So, what should you do about it?  Run from the battle? Raise the white surrender flag in defeat? Go to war with guns a blazing? None of those things will accomplish very much and may end up killing your relationship with your child. Instead, it’s important to first get a handle on why your teen may be rebelling. Understanding why your teen is rebelling is foundational to understanding what we should do about it.  In today’s blog, I’m going to talk about the “Why?” Tomorrow, we’ll address the “What?”

Here are 5 reasons why your teen may be rebelling: Continue reading

07.22.14

Study Claims Most People Would Rather Receive an Electric Jolt than Sit Idly for 15 Minutes   by John Stonestreet breakpoint.org
The weekly journal Nature recently reported, “Given the choice, many people would rather give themselves mild electric shocks than sit idly in a room for 15 minutes, according to a study published . . . in Science.”
Say what?
In an experiment led by social psychologist Timothy Wilson at the University of Virginia, 409 undergrads were asked to sit alone without mobile devices, books, or any other kind of entertainment for 15 minutes. That’s it. 15 minutes.
Nearly half found this unpleasant. Allowed to repeat the experiment in the comfort of their own homes, “nearly one-third of the study subjects later admitted to cheating.”
And now comes the bizarre part: “In the next experiment, participants were given a small electric shock—akin to a jolt of static electricity—that was so unpleasant that three-quarters of them said they would be willing to pay not to experience the shock again.”
But when participants sat in the room “alone with their thoughts, 67% of male participants and 25% of female subjects were so eager to find something to do that they shocked themselves voluntarily.”

Continue reading

07.22.14

How to Use Your God- given Influence to be a Kingdom Builder   by Rick Warren

http://pastors.com/kingdom-builder-1/

Everyone has influence. We all influence someone. And God expects us to be good stewards of that influence for His kingdom’s sake. He didn’t give us our influence for selfish purposes on our part, but so that we might share the good news about him – so that we could be Kingdom builders.

What exactly is a “kingdom builder?” It’s someone who has…

  • A great purpose to live for. And for the Christian, we have the greatest purpose of all – to rescue people for eternity through Jesus. Kingdom builders demonstrate a great commitment to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.
  • Great principles to live by. A Kingdom builder is one who has a different source from which to draw wisdom – God’s eternal truth revealed in the Bible.
  • Great power to live on. A Kingdom builder operates in a different power that the rest of the world – the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit who offers guidance every step of the way.
  • Great people to live with. A Kingdom builder gathers with God’s people and joins up with a small group for encouragement and accountability.

There are at least a dozen principles we learn from Scripture about how to use our influence as a Kingdom builder. I’m going to share six this week and six next week. First of all, Continue reading

07.15.14

Poolside Purity & Bikini Battles by Nick Burczyk

http://thatpreacherguy.com/2014/06/27/poolside-purity/

Here we go again. It’s summer time, which means at any given time, in any number of churches nationwide, pastors, youth pastors and leaders are giving their kids (read: their female students) the “one-piece” talk.

A few years back at our church, some students actually petitioned our pastor to include Tankinis. It was a big win for preteens everywhere. I imagine they sat by the pool that summer in their tankinis and drank virgin daiquiris to celebrate.

We have all been there for that dreaded talk. It’s painful for everyone involved and it smacks of legalism. As one student recently said to me, “It just feels like another instance of the old people at church telling people to behave because you’re at church.” It’s absurd, I know. In case you are unfamiliar with the one-piece talk, it goes something like this:

Ok, ladies, it’s summertime, and we’re going to have a lot of events where water is involved (or we’re going to camp, or to an amusement park, or your event-du-jour). You know, guys are visually stimulated, and can’t help but think about sex a lot of the time. We wouldn’t want to make them stumble. So swimsuits should be one pieces only. No exceptions. If you show up in a two-piece, you’ll be asked to sit out.

It’s sad but true. What are you going to do? Those hopeless, slobbering, drooling neanderthal boys are just going to be hopeless, slobbering, drooling neanderthal boys.

Right?

Lately, that thought is giving me more and more trouble. I can’t get around the idea that somewhere in the jungle of one-piece swimsuits and hormones, we are missing the true message of the Gospel. Here are three MAJOR overhauls that we need to apply in the way we talk about purity with our teens.

1. STOP giving boys a pass.

I saw a man wearing a TShirt at the grocery store today that proudly boasted, “World’s Okayest Dad.” Hilarious. Men are bumbling idiots. Watch any show on TV and you will find manhood defined as boyhood, but with a wife instead of a mother. Who screws things up? Dad. Who is there for comic relief? Dad. Who can’t even perform “dad” kinds of tasks without ending up in the hospital? Dad. Mancaves. Nagging wives demanding attention (how dare they? Don’t they know there’s a game on?). Homer Simpson. Peter Griffin. Al Bundy. Fred Flinstone. The list goes on.

It’s time we take back our view of manhood. Boys chase one girl after the next. Men treat them with dignity and respect. This message has to be reversed and it starts in our homes.

Fathers: It’s not a “rite of passage” when you take your kid to Hooters. It’s not funny when you nudge them when pretty girls walk by, and give them “the wink.” It’s not funny when you encourage your kids to carry on the stereotype that the first and only thing a man is supposed to think about when he sees someone of the opposite sex is how physically appealing she is.

Every time we do that, we send the following message to our young, impressionable sons: “Look for the skinny girls. Look for the girls with big chests and tiny waists. Check out anyone that walks by with high cheekbones and a perfectly-manicured look. The ‘ugly’ ones aren’t attention-worthy. And don’t give ‘the nudge/wink’ for an overweight girl unless you’re making a joke.”

MAN. FREAKING. UP. The first step to changing the poolside-purity culture in our churches is to stop participating in treating women as if they are objects to be attained.

Instead, we need to teach our young men to honor women for what they are: God’s creatures, created in his image; a gift to man so that we wouldn’t be alone; companions; sisters in Christ; people with feelings, and thoughts, emotions and aspirations.

Putting all the pressure on the girls to “protect” the hopeless boys is a biblically backwards way to look at gender relationships, and is degrading to the boys. If you want to change our poolside-purity culture, change the message you give to the young men, and start it when they are young boys. 

2. Stop putting so much pressure on young girls.

Let me get this straight: On top of keeping up with fashion trends, and social stigmas around dressing right, and on top of parental concerns about modesty, and on top of body image issues and concerns like “that weird mole that I hate on my arm” or “my hair won’t lay flat” issues, you’re telling me that you want to add to a teenage girl’s morning routine, “Is there any possible way this could make any boy I will see today lust?”

Why do we keep telling them that protecting the boys’ struggles and temptations are their problems to bear?

Every guy finds different things attractive. Different guys will like the “dolled up” look, while some may be more attracted to the “relaxed” look, complete with sweatpants and ball caps. Even when girls aren’t “trying” to be “sexy,” they could cause a man to lust after them with what they wear.

But they don’t cause that. That’s on the young men.

But here’s what really bugs me about this approach. If we are honest, it’s only a meaningful conversation when discussing “attractive” girls. I mean, we address everyone, but when chubby girls wear tight pants or short shorts, society’s reaction is rarely “that’s inappropriate” and more often “that’s gross, no one wants to see that!” It’s disgusting, I know, but I’m just pointing out where we are as a society.

Make no mistake, when we tell girls that it is their responsibility to keep boys’ lust in check, we are asking them to run through a checklist of their body asking, “Is my butt lust-worthy? What about my boobs? Do I need to cover those, or are they not lust-worthy enough? Maybe I’m just inherently ugly enough that it doesn’t matter what I wear…” And the monologue meanders on.

If you want to change our poolside-purity culture, stop telling girls that they need to judge for themselves if men would find them sexually desirable or not.

3. Teach girls a biblical view of modesty.

One of the things that is missing in our conversations about “poolside purity” is that we often overlook or brush over a biblical view of beauty. Our teaching shouldn’t stop at, “Barney the dinosaur Jesus loves you just the way you are,” but rather we should be teaching what Godly beauty really is. Turns out the Bible talks a lot about that.

God designed women to be beautiful in a specific way. Men who are real men (not sitcom men) will be attracted to this.

1 Peter 3:3-5—”Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves,”

1 Timothy 2:9-10—”Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.”

These passages teach that women shouldn’t seek to be called beautiful because of their outward “adornments.” Proverbs talks a lot about how great it is to find a wife or woman of noble character. Never does it say, “A hot wife who can find?!” Just like we should be teaching boys to look at girls with dignity and respect, we should be teaching girls to be modest and gentle, and to view themselves with dignity and respect. That’s why I love this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJVHRJbgLz8

Dressing immodestly objectifies the woman. It makes her an object to be ogled rather than a treasure to cherish. A young woman who is developing Godly character and a Godly view of beauty will have no desire to objectify herself, but to make people see her true beauty, the kind of Beauty God delights in seeing in her.

Ladies: the point of modesty is not to “protect those drooling, heathen, teen boys,” but to draw them in, to make them seek your true beauty that lies in the person God created you to be.

If you want to change our poolside-purity culture, spend more time teaching women what Godly femininity looks like. 

Those are three thoughts on the dreaded one-piece talk. Here’s a parting thought: the church should be the safest place in the world for a girl to wear a bikini.

I’m not advocating bikinis, and I think modesty is a far more godly way to go. To say it as clear as I possibly can, I don’t think girls should want to wear bikinis, but if they so desire the safest place to do so should be the church. So let me say it another way: the church should be the one place where women don’t need to fear being objectified and made into sexual objects.

In our over-sexualized, boobs-on-every-channel-and-in-every-SINGLE-movie, sexual-humor-everywhere, “That’s-What-She-Said,” Hugh-Heffner-is-the-image-of-a-real-man, “every-guy”-has-a-hidden-magazine-and-movie-stash, “I-just-go-there-because-I-like-the-wings” culture, the church should be the one place where we can give women respite from the constant inner monologue that tells them all about how their non-airbrushed bodies aren’t good enough.

It should be the one place where sex—every single aspect of it—is between a man and a woman inside the confines of a marriage.

It should be the one place in our ever-losing-its-mind world where we can separate sexuality and personhood.

So consider this an invitation to join me in changing the culture.

07.15.14

Cool at 13, Adrift at 23 by Jan Hoffman
http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/well/2014/06/23/cool-at-13-adrift-at-23/
JUNE 23, 2014

At 13, they were viewed by classmates with envy, admiration and not a little awe. The girls wore makeup, had boyfriends and went to parties held by older students. The boys boasted about sneaking beers on a Saturday night and swiping condoms from the local convenience store.

They were cool. They were good-looking. They were so not you.

Whatever happened to them?

“The fast-track kids didn’t turn out O.K.,” said Joseph P. Allen, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia. He is the lead author of a new study, published this month in the journal Child Development, that followed these risk-taking, socially precocious cool kids for a decade. In high school, their social status often plummeted, the study showed, and they began struggling in many ways.

It was their early rush into what Dr. Allen calls pseudomature behavior that set them up for trouble. Now in their early 20s, many of them have had difficulties with intimate relationships, alcohol and marijuana, and even criminal activity. “They are doing more extreme things to try to act cool, bragging about drinking three six-packs on a Saturday night, and their peers are thinking, ‘These kids are not socially competent,’ ” Dr. Allen said. “They’re still living in their middle-school world.”

As fast-moving middle-schoolers, they were driven by a heightened longing to impress friends. Indeed their brazen behavior did earn them a blaze of popularity. But by high school, their peers had begun to mature, readying themselves to experiment with romance and even mild delinquency. The cool kids’ popularity faded.

B. Bradford Brown, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who writes about adolescent peer relationships and was not involved in the study, said it offered a trove of data. The finding that most surprised him, he said, was that “pseudomature” behavior was an even stronger predictor of problems with alcohol and drugs than levels of drug use in early adolescence. Research on teenagers usually tracks them only through adolescence, Dr. Brown added. But this study, following a diverse group of 184 subjects in Charlottesville, Va., starting at age 13, continued into adulthood at 23.

Researchers took pains to document the rise and fall in social status, periodically interviewing the subjects as well as those who they felt knew them best, usually close friends. About 20 percent of the group fell into the “cool kid” category at the study’s outset.

A constellation of three popularity-seeking behaviors characterized pseudomaturity, Dr. Allen and his colleagues found. These young teenagers sought out friends who were physically attractive; their romances were more numerous, emotionally intense and sexually exploring than those of their peers; and they dabbled in minor delinquency — skipping school, sneaking into movies, vandalism.

As they turned 23, the study found that when compared to their socially slower-moving middle-school peers, they had a 45 percent greater rate of problems resulting from alcohol and marijuana use and a 40 percent higher level of actual use of those substances. They also had a 22 percent greater rate of adult criminal behavior, from theft to assaults.

Many attributed failed adult romantic relationships to social status: they believed that their lack of cachet was the reason their partners had broken up with them. Those early attempts to act older than they were seemed to have left them socially stunted. When their peers were asked how well these young adults got along with others, the former cool kids’ ratings were 24 percent lower than the average young adult.

The researchers grappled with why this cluster of behaviors set young teenagers on a downward spiral. Dr. Allen suggested that while they were chasing popularity, they were missing a critical developmental period. At the same time, other young teenagers were learning about soldering same-gender friendships while engaged in drama-free activities like watching a movie at home together on a Friday night, eating ice cream. Parents should support that behavior and not fret that their young teenagers aren’t “popular,” he said.

“To be truly mature as an early adolescent means you’re able to be a good, loyal friend, supportive, hardworking and responsible,” Dr. Allen said. “But that doesn’t get a lot of airplay on Monday morning in a ninth-grade homeroom.”

Dr. Brown offered another perspective about why the cool kids lost their way. The teenagers who lead the social parade in middle school — determining everyone else’s choices in clothes, social media and even notebook colors — have a heavy burden for which they are not emotionally equipped. “So they gravitate towards older kids,” he said. And those older teenagers, themselves possibly former cool kids, were dubious role models, he said: “In adolescence, who is open to hanging out with someone three or four years younger? The more deviant kids.”

Dr. Allen offered one typical biography from the study. At 14, the boy was popular. He had numerous relationships, kissed more than six girls, flung himself into minor forms of trouble, and surrounded himself with good-looking friends.

By 22, he was a high-school dropout, had many problems associated with drinking, including work absenteeism and arrests for drunken driving. He is unemployed and still prone to minor thefts and vandalism.

But as Dr. Allen emphasized, pseudomaturity suggests a predilection; it is not a firm predictor. A teenage girl from the study initially had a similar profile, with many boyfriends at an early age, attractive friends and a fondness for shoplifting.

Yet by 23, Dr. Allen wrote in an email, “she’d earned her bachelor’s degree, had not had any more trouble with criminal behavior, used alcohol only in responsible ways and was in a good job.”

Dr. Mitchell J. Prinstein, a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who studies adolescent social development, said that while teenagers all long to be accepted by their peers studies suggest that parents can reinforce qualities that will help them withstand the pressure to be too cool, too fast.

“Adolescents also appreciate individuality and confidence,” he said. “Adolescents who can stick to their own values can still be considered cool, even without doing what the others are doing.”

07.15.14

No Place for Islands by Charles R. Swindoll
Romans 15:1-7
Nobody is a whole chain. Each one is a link.
But take away one link and the chain is broken.
Nobody is a whole team. Each one is a player.
But take away one player and the game is forfeited.
Nobody is a whole orchestra. Each one is a musician.
But take away one musician and the symphony is incomplete.
Nobody is a whole play. Each one is an actor.
But take away one actor and the performance suffers.
Nobody is a whole hospital. Each one is a part of the staff.
But take away one person and it isn’t long before the patient can tell.
Cars are composed of numerous parts. Each one is connected to and dependent upon the other. Even if a tiny screw comes loose and falls out of the carburetor, it can bring the whole vehicle to a stop.
You guessed it. We need each other. You need someone and someone needs you. Isolated islands we’re not. To make this thing called life work, we gotta lean and support. And relate and respond. And give and take. And confess and forgive. And reach out and embrace. And release and rely.
Especially in God’s family . . . where working together is Plan A for survival. And since we’re so different (thanks to the way God built us), love and acceptance are not optional luxuries. Neither is tolerance. Or understanding. Or patience. You know all those things you need from others when your humanity crowds out your divinity.
In other words:
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. (Romans 12:10-13 NLT)
Why? Because each one of us is worth it. Even when we don’t act like it or feel like it or deserve it.
Since none of us is a whole, independent, self-sufficient, supercapable, all-powerful hotshot, let’s quit acting like we are. Life’s lonely enough without our playing that silly role.
The game’s over. Let’s link up.

07.15.14

Every Youth Leader’s Big Fight   by Greg Stier

http://pastors.com/every-youth-leaders-big-fight/

Everyday a youth leader wakes up he/she enters into a battle. This age-old war is not with disconnected parents, apathetic teenagers or micro-managing pastoral leadership.

This is a battle that relentlessly rages for the souls of the next generation. It is not imaginary. It is real, intense, and all around us. With every teen suicide, school shooting or drug overdose, you can almost hear the enemy’s victory cry in the distance.

And this invisible nemesis is worse than we could ever imagine. In the beginning he was the most powerful, beautiful and intelligent creation that God ever made. He was so impressive in fact that he convinced a third of all of the angels of heaven that he was more mighty than God himself (Ezekiel 28:11-19.)

He was wrong.

Upon the Devil’s mutiny Jesus evicted him from heaven in disgrace. He and the thousands upon thousands of angels who rebelled with him were hurled down to the earthly realm. This big blue ball became his bloody new battlefield. Since his fall from heaven and Adam and Eve’s subsequent fall into sin, he has been tripping, trapping and tricking humanity.

And, like the worst of predators, he loves to prey on the young.

But it’s more than just the perversion of destroying teen lives that fuels his cruelty. It’s equal parts depravity and strategy.

Satan knows that the vast majority of people who trust in Jesus do so before the age of 18. He seethes at the reality that many of the greatest revivals of the past were triggered by young people who were longing to live for a greater cause than themselves, the very cause of Christ. Continue reading

07.08.14

To See Lives Transformed, Always Start With The Truth Of God’s Word                 by Rick Warren

http://pastors.com/transformed-by-truth/

Nothing thrills a Pastor more than seeing real transformation happen in the lives of people. We want to see people grow up and become completely mature – completely like Jesus Christ. Another word for this is sanctification, and sanctification always begins as God’s Spirit uses God’s truth to change the mind, heart, and will of His follower.

Jesus prayed to the father in John 17:17, “Use the truth to make them complete. Your Word is truth.” Transformation is change, and change happens as we apply God’s truth to every area of our lives. The first responsibility of Pastors and shepherds is to preach God’s truth, which transforms the lives of our hearers into the image of Jesus Christ.

One of the primary marks of spiritual immaturity is when other people can easily sway us away from the truth. Not knowing the truth of God’s Word causes us to change our beliefs back and forth, repeatedly, which creates an unstable life. Paul said in Ephesians 4:14-15 that when we are mature and know God’s truth, “Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or made a lie sound like the truth…”

As Pastors, teachers, and church leaders, it is our responsibility to instruct people in God’s truth and to set the example for what it looks like to apply God’s truth to every area of our lives. Solomon set the bar high in this area in Ecclesiastes 12:9-11, “In addition to being a wise man, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge; and he pondered, searched out and arranged many proverbs. The Preacher sought to find delightful words and to write words of truth correctly. The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.” (NASB)

When you present God’s truth to God’s people for the purpose of life transformation, two things will happen. First, they will be moved to act on what they’ve heard, to become doers and not just hearers. Solomon said the words of wise men are “like goads” that move the will of people to align with truth. And secondly, they are like “well-driven nails.” In other words, when God’s truth is presented well, it finds a permanent place in the minds of its hearers.

As we lead our congregations forward spiritually, I believe there are several imperatives that will result in truly transformed lives. Continue reading

07.08.14

Why Teenagers Act Crazy   by Richard Friedman

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/29/opinion/sunday/why-teenagers-act-crazy.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Aw%2C%7b%222%22%3A%22RI%3A13%22%7d&_r=1

ADOLESCENCE is practically synonymous in our culture with risk taking, emotional drama and all forms of outlandish behavior. Until very recently, the widely accepted explanation for adolescent angst has been psychological. Developmentally, teenagers face a number of social and emotional challenges, like starting to separate from their parents, getting accepted into a peer group and figuring out who they really are. It doesn’t take a psychoanalyst to realize that these are anxiety-provoking transitions.

But there is a darker side to adolescence that, until now, was poorly understood: a surge during teenage years in anxiety and fearfulness. Largely because of a quirk of brain development, adolescents, on average, experience more anxiety and fear and have a harder time learning how not to be afraid than either children or adults.

Different regions and circuits of the brain mature at very different rates. It turns out that the brain circuit for processing fear — the amygdala — is precocious and develops way ahead of the prefrontal cortex, the seat of reasoning and executive control. This means that adolescents have a brain that is wired with an enhanced capacity for fear and anxiety, but is relatively underdeveloped when it comes to calm reasoning.

You may wonder why, if adolescents have such enhanced capacity for anxiety, they are such novelty seekers and risk takers. It would seem that the two traits are at odds. The answer, in part, is that the brain’s reward center, just like its fear circuit, matures earlier than the prefrontal cortex. That reward center drives much of teenagers’ risky behavior. This behavioral paradox also helps explain why adolescents are particularly prone to injury and trauma. The top three killers of teenagers are accidents, homicide and suicide.

The brain-development lag has huge implications for how we think about anxiety and how we treat it. It suggests that anxious adolescents may not be very responsive to psychotherapy that attempts to teach them to be unafraid, like cognitive behavior therapy, which is zealously prescribed for teenagers.

What we have learned should also make us think twice — and then some — about the ever rising use of stimulants in young people, because these drugs may worsen anxiety and make it harder for teenagers to do what they are developmentally supposed to do: learn to be unafraid when it is appropriate to do so. Continue reading