Perceptual Skills in Teens

By Carrie Cross
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Teenagers and adults are practically two different species. Parents across the country say that they were never this way when they were young. However, your teen is coming along quite nicely. He is developing about the same way you did at that age. He is very adept at figuring out complex problems and absorbing information. There is one glitch, though; not until his later teen years will he be able to access the entire range of his perceptual skills.

I Feel It

Perception is all about interpretation. It brings your teenager into contact with his environment and allows him to respond to it. Sensational perception is how your teen reacts to what he feels. This information is sent to the brain, where it is interpreted. The way he reacts to situations depends on how his brain reacts to the information and allows him to take action and adapt to his surroundings.

I See ...

What your child sees and how she processes the information can make a difference in her perception of the world. This perception can affect her behavior, according to Functional Diagnostic & Management Systems. Visual perception is also how she interprets, or conceptualizes, the information based on her internal experiences. By conceptualizing, she learns to recognize new patterns and is able to match them with familiar patterns to make sense of them.

I Think, Therefore I Am ... I Think

Have you ever wondered why your young teenager can remember things that you have long forgotten? It has to do with his cognitive perceptual skills. At age 12, your child’s ability to remember incidental events peaks, explains Robert Epstein, professor of psychology at the University of the South Pacific. His intelligence reaches its height at approximately 15 years of age, as does his brain volume. However, younger teens tend to be impulsive. As they get a little older, they start to think that they are invincible. This leads to risky behavior.

I'm Always Careful

Your perception of what is risky and your teen’s risk perception are two different things. Because a teen, by definition, has poor impulse control and a belief of invincibility, her quotient for risky behavior is high. Add to that free-flowing hormones and peer influence, and you have a recipe for situations that are sometimes better left alone. However, this is a time for your teen to develop her identity and sense of self. The key is to keep the doors of communication open and working.

About the Author

Carrie Cross has been writing for profit and pleasure for more than 35 years. Her background includes business, real estate, entrepreneurship, management, health and nutrition. A registered nurse, she has published various pieces, including web content, numerous newspaper and magazine articles and columns and six books.