This is another great book for parents and anyone who works with middle school kids. Though David Walsh seemed to write about adolescents as a whole - “Why Do They Act That Way?” seems to be even more important for those of us who are with Middle School youth.
I came away with two great thoughts and one caution from this book.
The caution is that thou the research is great and the live experiences that Dr. Walsh talks about are wonderful to read about they don’t come from a Biblical base. If anyone choices to read this book and think they are reading a Biblical view point of interacting with adolescent won’t find that.
The first great thought is DR. Walsh’s statement, “neurons that fire together wire together.” Dr. Walsh shares a lot of data about the adolescent brain. That as the brain develops the neurons in the brain get chances to fire but if they don’t fire then they don’t stay around long and the brain “prunes” the neurons that don’t fire. This has huge implication for those of us who have middle school kids in our lives. We have the opportunity to influence what neurons fire and wire together. If we expose kids to God’s truth through relationships it will go a long ways in the kids’ lives - It will last for rest of their lives.
The second great thought was the importance of other adults in an adolescents life. “The key is to involve other adults in your kids’ lives early on that the relationship is there when they hit adolescence.” I’ve always been a huge believer that middle school kids start to push away from parents during their adolescence years but they are equally trying to pull other adults into their lives. This again shows how important middle school ministry is. We give to the parents the chance to have other likeminded adults helping them with their kids. I want to always be a blessing to parents and this is one way that our ministry really is.
If you are cautions when you read this book you will find some great gems throughout it. The gems in here can influence almost every way that we interact with middle school kids. Go read it.