Speaker: Science can aid parents of teens

| By Julie Pfitzinger For The Catholic Spirit | March 15, 2011 | 0 Comments

David Walsh’s March 19 talk to address ‘parenting with the brain in mind’

David Walsh

David Walsh believes there is not only an art to raising children, but there is a science to it as well.

“The art of parenting has been handed down for hundreds of years,” said Walsh, founder and president of the National Institute on Media and the Family and now the founder of Mind Positive Par­ent­ing. “It is science that can help us understand how to make the art even more effective and how to do a good job of raising our kids.”

On Saturday March 19, Walsh will be speaking at St. Peter in Mendota on the topic “Parenting with the Brain in Mind: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful, Healthy Kids.” The presentation is part of the 2011 Educational Family Forum sponsored by the archdiocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Life.

Author of the best-selling “Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen,” Walsh said he plans to address some of the many ways that science and research can help parents better understand what he called the “very challenging teenage years.”

The science of teens

“There are plenty of examples about the impact of science,” he said. “For instance, as exercise is important to cardiovascular health, there is also the role of brain health and fitness, which can stimulate brain growth and brain development, both so important for teen­agers.”

Sleep is another example of a key element in the lives of teens and something that is absolutely vital for their health and overall well-being, Walsh said.

“Studies show that sleep deprivation is occurring in every age group, even infants,” he said. “The implications for not getting enough sleep can be profound.”

Walsh also will talk about self-discipline and teenagers, which he said directly correlates to their success, happiness and spiritual development; he tackled this topic in his most recent book titled “No: Why Kids — of All Ages — Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It.”

“For today’s parents, teaching kids about self-discipline is certainly more of a challenge,” he said. “Parents in previous generations were part of a culture that supported the message of ‘no,’ but that’s not the case now.”

Challenged by technology

Other challenges facing parents in­clude the explosion of technology, which Walsh referred to as “a game changer for kids” since studies show they spend more time on television, video games, cell phones and computers than on any other activity they do during the day, except sleeping.

Walsh, a parent and now a grandparent, said the various topics plan­ned for the educational forum “could easily cover three days instead of  three hours” and added that the event is geared not just to  parents and grandparents, but to anyone who regularly works with children and teens.

Registration for Walsh’s presentation will begin at 8:30 a.m. on March 19; the event runs from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost is $10 per individual and $15 for a couple — scholarships are available. St. Peter is at 1405 Hwy. 13 in Men­do­ta.

For more information, contact the Archdiocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Life at (651) 291-4488 or mfl@archspm.org. To learn more about David Walsh and his work, visit http://drdavewalsh.com.

Category: Local News