Even smart kids do stupid things. It's a simple fact of life. No one makes it through the teenage years unscathed—not the teens, not their parents. But now there's expert help for both generations in this groundbreaking new guide for surviving the drama of adolescence.In WHY Do They Act That Way? nationally renowned, 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.But WHY Do They Act That Way? goes beyond the well-known issues of hormones and peer pressure. It is the first book to explain the changes in teens' brains and to show parents how to use this information to understand, communicate with, and stay connected to their kids. Dr. Walsh actually likes teenagers and has worked with them and their families for more than thirty years as a parent, teacher, psychologist, coach, and trusted expert. Through real-life stories, he makes sense of their 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. In addition, Dr. Walsh explores the short- and long-term effects of drug and alcohol use on adolescent brain development, the effects of computer games and other activities, the brain differences between the sexes, and how to talk to your teen about sex and the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases.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's proven tactics will be extremely welcome to frustrated parents trying to help their children through this confusing time of life.