#071 Teens Need Novelty and So Do Parents

#071 Teens Need Novelty and So Do Parents

What is novelty? Anything that’s new, different, or unusual that gets our attention. Novelty happens naturally for our teens during a normal year with school activities, programs, dances and musicals, soccer games, graduation dances, parties and interacting with hundreds of teens in a day. Also novelty happens naturally in the summer with camps, vacations, work, mission trips, internships and foreign exchange programs.

However, because we are still in the middle of a pandemic and many are still shelter-in-place, our favorite things to do and go to places are shut down. We are experiencing a lack of novelty. We are seeing the same people, in the same place, and doing the same things over and over again.

Teens need novelty. This is hardwired in the teen’s brain. In this episode I talk about the science behind novelty. Basically, novelty gives us the reward of Dopamine, the feel good chemical in our brain. Teens especially crave novelty, which leads them to seek out thrill-seeking-behaviors. There is an upside to this and a downside to this.

Here’s the challenge. Many camps and programs have been cancelled this summer. Teens are disappointed and are bored. Many teens don’t have a reason to go to sleep or wake up in the morning. In this episode I explore how to create positive novel experiences for you and your teen in the middle of this pandemic.

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