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One reason that adolescence is such a complicated time is because the brain is still changing. And most teens overwhelmingly prefer the company of their friends over their parents.So coupling an adolescent’s risk-taking with his love for reward plus the innate need to establish his own sexual identity can mean that previously innocuous behavior can lead, if unchecked, to high-risk activities. While most people think of dating as getting in the car, picking someone up, and taking them to the movies or dinner, that’s an adult’s definition.
It is a peak time of physical growth for boys and girls. Their appearance begins to be important to them so they brush their teeth and shower more. These physical changes often drive behavior, especially when it comes to their burgeoning sexuality—so figuring out when and how to respond is like a high-wire act for parents. They respond more strongly to social rewards like a friend’s approval or disapproval.Finally, always remember to set aside time to spend with your children, even if they don’t seem to want to spend it with you.“A parent who regularly spends time with their teen can pick up on changes in mood or dress that you might not pick up on when you are just passing each other in the morning,” Corcoran says. Spending time with your kids really matters.” And don’t worry if you think that they are not listening to you, Corcoran says.In fact, changes in an adolescent’s brain around puberty may contribute to an adolescent's seeking out romantic relationships and expanding them into sexual relationships, says B. Casey, Ph D, director of Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology. Adolescents don’t see dating that way, says Casey Corcoran, program director for Children & Youth at Futures Without Violence. The spectrum of informal to formal relationships is wide,” Corcoran says.“Young people don’t have a lot of experience with relationships.