In this national bestseller, acclaimed, award-winning psychologist Dr. David Walsh explains exactly what happens to the human brain on the path from childhood into adolescence and adulthood. Revealing the latest scientific findings in easy-to-understand terms, Dr. Walsh shows why moodiness, quickness to anger and to take risks, miscommunication, fatigue, territoriality, and other familiar teenage behavior problems are so common — all are linked to physical changes and growth in the adolescent brain.
Why Do They Act That Way? is the first book to explain the changes in teens’ brains and show parents how to use this information to understand, communicate with, and stay connected to their kids. Through real-life stories, Dr. Walsh makes sense of teenagers’ many mystifying, annoying, and even outright dangerous behavioral difficulties and provides realistic solutions for dealing with everyday as well as severe challenges. Dr. Walsh’s techniques include, among others: sample dialogues that help teens and parents talk civilly and constructively with each other, behavioral contracts, and Parental Survival Kits that provide practical advice for dealing with issues like curfews, disrespectful language and actions, and bullying. With this arsenal of strategies, parents can help their kids learn to control impulses, manage erratic behavior, cope with their changing bodies, and, in effect, develop a second brain.
“Dr. Walsh is a teacher, scientist, therapist, and parent and all of these roles enable him to deliver a powerful, practical book on the teenage brain. Usually when I study the brain, my eyes cross and I fall asleep, but Walsh is a storyteller with the gifts of simplicity and clarity. This book is an easy read, but its message is fresh, nuanced, and important. I recommend it to all parents who ask themselves, ‘Why do they act this way?’”
–Mary Pipher, Ph.D., author, Reviving Ophelia
“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 Becoming Real