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a parent on earth (I speak from experience) who hasn't walked away from a
conversation with a teenager muttering to him or herself, "Why did she say
that? "Why does he think that's a good idea," or "Why do they act that way?"
David Walsh has taken on the task of explaining in readable, sympathetic
language what the recent discoveries in neuroscience have to say about our
traditional frustrations with teenagers. And science has new answers which
he explains beautifully! We now know better why adolescents are so impulsive
at times and why they are so cranky and listless at 7:00 a.m. in the
Even with new insights, however, wisdom, patience and a sense of humor are
still going to be the essential tool kit for any adult working with
adolescents. That is where Dr. Walsh is particularly strong. His love for
adolescents shines through every page, and parents will find his
generous-hearted advice both comforting and helpful."
-- Michael Thompson, co-author of Raising Cain
"David Walsh is one of the most eloquent and effective advocates for
children today. This book advocates for parents as well by translating the
rapidly growing research on the developing brain into an accessible
guidebook for understanding the behavioral changes and emotional liquidity
of the adolescent years. Any parent who reads Walsh's compelling cases will
find it much easier to understand why the once familiar dichotomy between
nature and nurture is morphing into a more sensible, though sometimes
complex, interplay between the two. Professionals, too, will find Walsh's
account both wise and useful."
-- W. Andrew Collins, Ph.D., Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching
Professor; Chair, Consortium on Children, Youth, and Families, Institute of
"Down-to-earth experience together with the latest findings on brain
development, this book is a wonderful resource for parents, or for that
matter, anyone who interacts with adolescents."
-- John C. Nelson, MD, MPH; trustee, American Medical Association
"The adolescent brain is NOT an oxymoron! Parents and teachers need to
understand its critical developmental needs, and Dr. Walsh's clear,
scientific, and humane counsel is just the ticket. I especially like his
real-life stories and the chapter on helping kids manage the media."
--Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., Educational Psychologist and author of Your
Child's Growing Mind and Failure to Connect
WHY DO THEY ACT THAT WAY? actually answers the question, at least as best as
it can be answered. This superb book combines science, psychology, and
direct experience with adolescents to create a warm-hearted, intelligent,
and practical guide. Parents will find the book immensely informative,
reassuring, and useful. I highly recommend it!
-- Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of Driven to Distraction, The Childhood
Roots of Adult Happiness, and Dare to Forgive
"Teenagers... those baffling and scary creatures your adorable kids turned
into, leaving you puzzled and angry all the time. Dave Walsh's weaving
together of current understanding of the teenage brain with years of
clinical experience with teens has produced a thoughtful, practical and
down-to-earth guide that enables parents to understand and deal well with
their teenager. If you are struggling with your adolescent, or even
anticipating your child's entrance into those crazy years, this book will
show you why it all makes sense and how to help both you and your teen have
the healthiest, sanest passage."
-- Gail Saltz, M.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, The New York
Presbyterian Hospital; Today Show Mental Health Contributor; Author of
"WHY DO THEY ACT THAT WAY is a comprehensive guide to the biology behind
just about every adolescent behavior a parent or teacher might encounter.
Drawing from his extensive clinical experience, Dr. Walsh walks the reader
through many situations he has helped resolve through an understanding of
how teen brains grow and develop. His gentle humor and friendly exploration
of some personal parenting mishaps make this a highly readable and helpful
book. You'll finish it feeling as if you've just had coffee with someone who
is not only entertaining and enlightening but who knows exactly how it feels
to be the mom or dad of a twenty first century teen."
-- Cheryl Dellasega, Ph.D., Author of Surviving Ophelia, GirlWars (with
Charisse Nixon), and Stung! Adult Women Who Are Queen Bees, Middle Bees, and