I want to talk about a little something called the amygdala. And the connection between the amygdala and all those moody and emotional outbursts we see in our lovely Gen Z teens. 

Today I had the delightful honor of witnessing the spectacular showcase of the amygdala’s majestic powers in action within within the ever-colorful moods of my teen daughter. It’s the end of the school year, and my teenage daughter is right in the middle of a test week. I pick her up, fully aware that she’s carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. The stress is real, my friends. So, what do I get? A grumpy, moody, and possibly possessed creature sitting next to me in the car.

Now I’ve learned a thing or two about handling these situations. So, I just let her vent. Yep, the whole way home was like an emotional storm brewing inside my car. But you know what? Sometimes, teens just need to let it out. So I took one for the team and surrended to being the sounding board for those turbulent teenage emotions.

Blame the amygdala

But here’s the thing. The reason behind all this teenage moodiness lies deep within the mysterious workings of the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. It’s like having two feuding siblings in your teenager’s brain, causing chaos and mayhem.

The amygdala, that tiny, almond-shaped troublemaker, is responsible for processing emotions, especially fear and stress. And let me tell you, during those teenage years, it’s like the amygdala has a VIP pass to every emotion party in town. It’s working overtime, trying to figure out this crazy world and how to navigate it. And sometimes, it just gets overwhelmed.

But wait, there’s more! Enter the prefrontal cortex, the logical and rational brain. It’s the voice of reason, the superhero responsible for all the logical decision-making, rational thinking, and impulse control. Here’s the catch: it doesn’t fully develop until our lovely teenagers hit their early 20s. No wonder teens sometimes struggle with making the right choices!

So, while the amygdala is having its grand emotional party, the prefrontal cortex is chilling in the back, still figuring out the whole “adulting” thing. It’s like having a mischievous little kid inside their brain, tugging at their sleeves and whispering, “You know you want to.”

But fear not, my fellow parents, for armed with this knowledge, we can navigate the stormy waters of teenage emotions with a bit more finesse. Patience and understanding are still key, but now we add a dash of humor to the mix.

Going back to my daughter’s delightful mood in the car.. I had expected that the car ride home was long enough for the storm to pass. Well, my friends, apprantly not. It turns out that her mood decided to join us as we entered the house.

So, there I was, making preparing a quick in the kitchen, still listening to my daughter’s never-ending rant, trying to feign empathy without losing my sanity. And suddenly, out of nowhere, she turns her anger towards our poor, innocent pug who was just wagging his tail, happy to see her.

I looked at her and I couldn’t hold it in any longer. There she was, passionately delivering a profanity-laden monologue directed at poor Diesel. The dog’s bewildered expression only added to the absurdity of it all. I looked at my daughter, she looked at me and we both burst into laughter. Because in that 1 second that we looked at each other, my daughter realized just how insane she sounded. The tension melted away, and I could see her mood shifting. Laughter truly has the power to lighten the heaviest of moods.

So, my fellow parents, let’s embrace the amygdala and prefrontal cortex blame game. It’s like a secret code we share, a nod of understanding when we see another parent with that “oh boy, I know what you’re going through” look on their face. Together, armed with patience, understanding, and a good old laugh, we’ll survive the moody teenage years, one emotional outburst at a time.

Remember, when your teen comes home in a bad mood, let them vent. Give them that safe space to express their feelings. It’s not personal; it’s just the amygdala and prefrontal cortex going through their rebellious phases. And hey, while you’re at it, throw in a well-timed joke to lighten the mood. You’ll be amazed at how laughter can turn the whole situation around.

So, my fellow parents, keep that sense of humor handy. It’s like a secret weapon in your parenting toolkit. Find those moments when you can laugh together, even in the midst of chaos. It’s a reminder that we’re all human, navigating this crazy journey together.

With the amygdala and prefrontal cortex joining forces in the teenage brain, we’re in for a wild ride. But we’ve got each other. Together, we’ll navigate the ups and downs of parenting, one neurologically fascinating moment at a time. And to help you to remain calm when you’re in the middle of your teen’s stormy mood, I’ve designed a few beautiful wallpapers for your phone. It will remind you to take a deep breath and to blame the amygdala!

Wall papers Blame the amygdala


Pick and choose one of the beautiful – or funny – wallpapers for your phone, so you’ll have a daily reminder to take a deep breath and to blame your teen’s amygdala 🙂 

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Hey there, I´m Marielle

As a parenting coach and life coach for teen girls, I have seen firsthand the impact that a strong mother-daughter bond can have. In my blog, I share my insights, experiences, and tips to help mothers create deeper connections with their daughters, navigate the difficult moments, and feel more confident in their parenting journey.



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