The Primal Teen Essay

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The purpose of Barbara Strauch’s book, The Primal Teen: What the New Discoveries About the Teenage Brain Tell Us About Our Kids, is to describe the new scientific findings regarding the teen brain in order to help bewildered parents, teachers and other members of society to understand the irrational behavior of teenagers. The book fulfills its purpose by relating this experience of bewilderment to scientific discoveries that reveal that teenagers are truly not at fault; rather, it is the teen brain that is going through changes that were not understood in the past.

As a matter of fact, the scientific discoveries discussed in the book happen to be its main strength. This is because readers cannot refute the scientific discoveries, even as parents who have misunderstood their teenage kids and believed them to be difficult may change their opinions about their kids after reading the book. Moreover, the book describes various experiences of parents that the readers, who are parents, may easily relate to.

By discussing the scientific discoveries in relation to the parents’ experiences, the book allows parents of teenage kids to easily change their misconceptions about their kids. If The Primal Teen had described scientific findings about the teen brain without relating them to real experiences of parents, perhaps most parents without a scientific background would have shunned the contents of the book altogether.

But, The Primal Teen does not just help the parents of teenagers thus. In point of fact, it helps all readers to understand the topics more fully by relating scientific findings to real life experiences. All adults are cognizant of the typical relationships between parents and teenagers. Still, the book reminds them of these relationships, for example, by relating the experience of a mother whose thirteen year old son refused to obey the rule at the school dance.

The boy seemed to refuse to understand the consequences of his behavior. But, Strauch explains that the boy was truly not at fault, given that the prefrontal cortex of the teen brain is under development. It is the prefrontal cortex that allows individuals to know the consequences of their actions and helps them to plan ahead. This is the reason why the parents of the thirteen year old should have understood that their kid simply could not help doing what he did.

I would definitely recommend the book to parents of teenagers who mistakenly believe that their teenage kids are complete adults even though they are not. Even adults who have experienced disturbing teenage years should be asked to read the book. I am certainly better off by having read the book. It helps me to understand my own teenage experiences. I have made plenty of irrational decisions during teenage years. Furthermore, I have experienced conflicts in my relationships because of my own irrational behavior during teenage years.

The Primal Teen helps me to forgive myself. What is more, it helps me to forgive the friends I had in my teenage years for their irrational behavior. I remember taking their behavior very seriously at the time. The Primal Teen is very helpful because it allows the reader to understand that teenagers are kids even if their bodies are those of adults.