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Willpower & Adolescent Decision Making

Workshop Speaker: John Fort

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About This Workshop

Along with hormones and other changes in the brain, willpower is different in children ages 10-22 than in adults. Willpower is what gives us the ability for self-control and we understand more about how that process works than ever before. Adolescents experience broad changes in willpower levels that parents should be aware of.

This session will start with an overview of what willpower is, how it works, and why willpower levels are different in adolescents than in younger children and adults. We will then look at how willpower interacts with hormone levels and changes in the pre-frontal cortex and limbic systems of the brain in adolescents. We will see examples of why God created adolescents to be this way and the strengths it gives them. But with every strength comes weaknesses, so we will conclude by looking at several ways parents can help adolescents compensate for these temporary changes in willpower to make healthier decisions.