Gloria is a recent college graduate and a single mom to 16-year-old Gary. Gloria and Gary used to be close. But recently, Gloria has noticed that Gary is only focused on what his friends think about him. Gary recently snuck out of his bedroom window and went to a party when he was supposed to be studying for a big exam. Gloria caught him coming home and smelled alcohol on his breath and marijuana on his clothes. Gloria is shocked and appalled by her son’s recent behavior and grounded him for two weeks.
Gloria comes to you because she needs some advice on how to handle her son’s poor choices. Using what you have learned about the adolescent brain and social development in Chapter 3 of the webtext, answer the questions below to help Gloria understand why her son is making such poor choices, and pose some recommendations to help her solve her problem:
For each question, you should write a paragraph-length response (5-7 sentences).
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1. What physically happens to teen brains that make it difficult for someone like Gary to weigh risk and reward?
2. In addition to their brains changing, teens change socially too. Why may Gary value his peers more than his mom?
3. What specific strategies or advice would you recommend that Gloria can do to help her son to make better decisions?
4. Place yourself in Gloria’s shoes. How do you think Gloria is feeling? How can understanding her feelings help you offer constructive advice?