Dear Broncos,

Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone is having a great week!  Congratulations to all of our Broncos who signed today to continue their athletic careers at the next level! I know it is a lot of time, energy and hard work that is paying off and I am super proud of all they have accomplished so far. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for all of them!

As most of you know it is that registration time of the year for courses for next year.  Last year I wrote a letter to our community about the importance of healthy balance and our students.  We still continue to see a rise in depression and anxiety amongst our students and as you know it is a growing problem across our nation.  Here is a link to that letter as I still feel like it addresses my heart and my concern for our students: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1S1c2JEzFXRJuWBnyibjI7CQvS3hIfKXDxpd_O28D7Ew/edit?usp=sharing

I wanted to add something to this letter this year.  A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to hear about an hour long training on the development of the human brain.  There were two things that stuck out that I wanted to share.  The first thing I learned is that the frontal lobe controls most of our decision making, response to stress, and how we handle different situations in our daily lives.  Research shows that the frontal lobes do not start to fully develop until the age of 25 and after. So all of you that get frustrated with your own kiddos for making those bad choices, please know that you are not alone and there is scientific proof as to why it is happening! I know it doesn’t make it any better as you deal with the teenager in your household that wakes up in a different world every day with a different set of emotions. So while our students sometimes act, look and carry themselves very maturely, their decision making part of the brain is still 7-11 years from being fully developed.

The second thing that I learned is that the adults that are involved with our teenagers need to act as the surrogate frontal lobe as they are learning to make better and better decisions.  In other words, while they think they don’t need us anymore, they in fact still need our guidance and support.  I felt the need to share all of this because one of the common comments that I hear from parents when it comes to having a healthy balance is, “I tell them they need to adjust their schedules or adjust their extracurricular activities or adjust their work schedules, but they don’t want to change and so I let them make their own decisions.” There is  that healthy balance of parenting as well where we need to let them experience making their own choices, but we also have to step in and be the “surrogate frontal lobe” when they are putting their health and well being in jeopardy.  I know I have said this many times before, but I truly wish parenting came with an owners manual like the appliances in my house and the cars in my driveway!

We are all in this together and we are here to help during this very important time of the year when decisions are being made for next year.  We have plenty of time to help guide you and your Bronco in what is the best choices for them for the next school year.  We want students who challenge themselves, but more importantly we want students who are healthy physically and emotionally.  As you walk through this process, please feel free to contact any of our admin, our counselors or our teachers.  We are here to help!

I hope you have a great rest of the week! Stay warm and Go Broncos!

Thanks,

Dr. P

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