How to Raise Teenagers Who Can Think for Themselves

How does imagination and creativity work? And how can we help our teens to think outside of the box? This week we spoke with Jim Davies, a leading expert on the science of imagination and the author of the book Riveted. He explained that the key to raising teens who can think for themselves is to reward them when they take risks–even if the risks don’t end up turning out very well.

We also have to be very careful about how we offer feedback on our teens’ work and progress. It is important to encourage teens and offer praise but it is also important to be realistic. You need to be able to tell them when they aren’t doing a good job.

How can you walk this fine line as a parent? Jim explains it this week on the podcast.

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About Jim Davies

In addition to being a full professor at Carleton University in both the Institute of Cognitive Science and the School of Computer Science, Jim Davies is also the director of the Science of Imagination Laboratory, has won awards for his teaching and research, and is the author of Riveted: Why Jokes Make Us Laugh, Movies Make Us Cry, and Religion Makes Us Feel One with the Universe.

Jim has given three TED talks, including this fascinating one on the science of imagination, he’s written for the Huffington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to the popular science magazine Nautilus.

You can find Jim on Twitter here and on his website here.


About Andy

Andy Earle is a researcher at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he studies adolescent risk behavior and the role of parents in helping teens thrive. He publishes papers and speaks to groups of parents about the science of talking to teens. Reach him any time at andy@talkingtoteens.com

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