Did you get thinner personally during puberty?

His bike was at the supermarket for almost two weeks. Mattes (13) had left it there while shopping - and forgot. “Afterwards I went home on foot, I didn't even think about being there on my bike.” The boy from Bremen keeps doing things like this: “I don't know what's wrong with me either. Some things just fall out of my head! "

"That is quite normal for this age," says Prof. Michael Schulte-Markwort, Director of the Clinic for Child Psychiatry and Psychosomatics at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. Major remodeling processes take place in the brain during puberty.

A completely organized and structured way of thinking, as adults know it, is simply not yet possible: “The connections between the controlling and the emotional systems in the brain are still very thin during puberty and do not fully develop until the age of 25. "

In addition, there is a changed sense of time, says Schulte-Markwort: “For days and weeks, young people don't have the feeling that they are living very much in the moment.” Anyone who asks teenagers to tell something about the past week usually experiences a lot of brooding: “And then they start with experiences from yesterday because they don't remember anything more. "

Even the little word “same”, which young people like to use when asked to do things, is very flexible in terms of time: “They really mean the same, even if it's three hours from now.” Schulte-Markwort advises parents not to get upset about it, too when it is exhausting.

"The brain is busy with other things"

Dieter Scholz, coach and parenting advisor from Gundelfingen near Freiburg, also advises parents to be calm: "For the children themselves, forgetfulness is exhausting enough, the parents don't have to put additional pressure on." The puberty phase is generally characterized by this many requirements and influences that it is only a logical consequence when things fall through the cracks.

The fact that a dentist's appointment is due in the next week may then be saved, but not retrieved: “The children's brain is busy with other, more important things,” says Elisabeth Raffauf, psychologist and author of the guide “Puberty Today” from Cologne.

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Many parents then felt personally attacked when the young people repeatedly do the exact opposite of what they had promised shortly before. The consequences are quarrels and personal sensitivities. Raffauf urgently advises parents to stay relaxed and not to distance themselves offended or angry.

Parents shouldn't keep intervening

But how do you specifically deal with forgetfulness? Do parents have to become messengers of remembrance? “Why not?” Asks Scholz. "If it is important to the parents themselves, they can say something, call or write a text message."

The key here is a balance between support and freedom: “Of course, you are not allowed to telephone the children all day afterwards and manage everything. You can still make your own experiences. ”Elisabeth Raffauf recommends that parents clarify for themselves which events they intervene and which not: Reminder for the doctor's appointment, get into the car every time and bring your soccer shoes - not necessarily .

In order to avoid constant stress in the family, a general conversation is appropriate. It explains how to deal with and prevent forgetfulness in the future. “Ask your child what kind of support they need,” advises Scholz. Whether a note on the kitchen table, a family planner, reminder messages via Whats-App or an evening meeting for the coming day: "Try different things."

Since forgetfulness can also be a sign of overwork, it also makes sense to look at the appointment calendar: “The demands from school alone are an enormous burden for many children today. If there are also many leisure activities, the barrel will overflow at some point. ”More breaks, more time for idleness and relaxation can then noticeably untangle the teenage head.

Check the sports bag for completeness, go through homework, remind you of exams: mothers and fathers who take on such tasks are quickly seen as chuckles. Prof. Schulte-Markwort sees it differently: "It's great when parents support their children, it has nothing to do with pampering." Parents don't need to be afraid that the young people won't become independent like this: "That happens anyway, with or without help. With it's just much more pleasant for everyone involved. "(Dpa)