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Publishers Weekly - June 13, 2011
The focus of this book by psychologist Walsh (Why Do They Act That
Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen)
is "parenting with the brain in mind." In clear and accessible
language, Walsh reports, interprets, and applies recent neuroscience
research to help parents understand their kids' behavior and foster
optimum development and use of their children's amazing brains.
Throughout, there is an emphasis on science made practical, as Walsh
expands the scope of his previous book to cover a wider range of
brain-related behavioral issues from infancy through adolescence.
Reminding parents that kids' brains really are "under construction,"
he shares anecdotes from his own family life and clinical experience
as he addresses major topics such as IQ and other ways to evaluate
learning capabilities; how the brain processes information; the
importance of play; and why learning self-discipline is important.
Each chapter includes checklists, tool kits, conversation starters,
and a list of dos and don'ts, plus a fill-in-the-blank space for
parents to plan steps toward change. Citing much of the same
research reported in Ellen Galinsky's Mind in the Making (including
the famous marshmallow experiment, about delayed gratification),
Walsh has delivered another entertaining and highly elucidating
useful volume for the 21st-century parent.
Kirkus Reviews – June 1, 2011
Parents are bombarded with child-rearing manuals and videos, and
much of the information can be overwhelming or guilt-inducing.
Walsh, a father and a psychologist, knows that products such as
“Baby Einstein” do not increase I.Q. and may, in fact, hinder
language development. His practical advice is delivered in a breezy
style, with many first-person examples to help parents understand
how the brain develops and apply that knowledge to raise healthier,
happier children. Physical components of brain growth, such as glial
cells and hormones, are discussed, and each chapter is coupled with
down-to-earth questions or a “Parent Tool Kit” and a simple list of
“Do’s and Don’ts.” The author’s voice is not preachy; Walsh even
mentions his own mistakes. The author also emphasizes reading and
writing, and he touches on a variety of themes, including the
special needs of children with ADD, ADHD and Asperger’s. Walsh also
examines the teenage brain, including a discussion of the warning
signs for depression and suicide, the third-leading cause of death
among adolescents. It turns out that our elders’ advice for
unstructured play time was good, but today’s parents will appreciate
the modern applications and additional resources.
A helpful guide for understanding kids and teenagers.