Have you ever wondered why it is so hard to get your teen enthusiastic about anything? Yes, I know like me you have heard those dreaded words like, "I'm bored," even though there's tons of things to do in their room. Here's the reason why. Teenagers naturally have a lower amount of dopamine in their brains. They actually have less than adults.
So what is dopamine? Dopamine is a little neurotransmitter that is responsible for all our pleasure and our reward responses. Anytime we do something fun, novel, exciting or we eat food that's really good, dopamine is released and it says, "Oh, I want to do that again!"
Well teenagers have very little of this. They actually do not have a lot of dopamine and that is why they are constantly chasing thrill-seeking, exciting or really high highs. It's because their dopamine levels are so low everyday and mundane things do not excite them. It's like they need an overload just to get the normal amount of reward response inside of their brain.
When it comes to building their spiritual life and their spirituality you got to have some fun with them You got to switch it up. It can not be the same thing every time. We tell the moms in our Mom Squad when they watch our videos to go on a hike. Put Girl Truth on in the car and go for a drive. Get some ice cream or a pedicure. Do each other's nails. Do something new and novel because that is going to excite them.
So then every time they think about Bible study or spending time with mom, they're going to know that this time is not going to be wasted. This is going to be an awesome time.
You don't have to go over the top. Just do something new. Send them a new worship song or send them a story of a crazy missionary. Whatever it is, you want them to pair that time with God with newness, freshness and fun because our life with Jesus is not boring. Our life with Jesus is fun.
Here's the other thing though. When dopamine is released in the teenage brain it's like an overload. They experience it more intensely. Although it takes them a little bit more to experience that release reward center of their brain, when they do experience it its crazy amazing.
If they have an exciting encounter with God then that's going to draw them back to want more and more!
So just switch it up Mama. Do something fun with your daughter today.
(Founder of Girl Truth, an online bible study platform for teen girls)