Author David Walsh to speak about child brain development

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 | 5:33 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — David Walsh will give a presentation Thursday to help parents apply brain science in their children's daily lives.

The presentation is based on Walsh's book "Smart Parenting, Smarter Kids: The One Brain Book You Need to Help Your Kids Grow Brighter, Healthier, and Happier" and will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Smithton Middle School.

Walsh said he hopes his explanation of current brain science will translate into applications parents can use right now. He said topics include: attention, the importance of sleep, exercise and nutrition, the development of skills such as self-discipline and emotion management, and ways to help children in school.

Walsh said he wants the presentation to both allay parents' fears and motivate them to do the best job possible in raising their children.

"I hope that people don't just leave with information but with a sense of inspiration," he said.

The event is free and open to the public and will also have a Q-and-A session at the end.

Walsh's visit is part of Columbia Cares for Kids' "Week of Parenting With the Brain in Mind." For the event, Walsh will be leading a few workshops focusing on how different professionals, such as child care workers and educators, can better work with children.

Walsh was invited because of his knowledge of brain science and ability to translate it so parents and professionals who work with children can use it, said Bryon White, family and community partnership administrator at Central Missouri Community Action.

Community Action is one of the 17 organizations that make up Columbia Cares for Kids.

"He's so skilled in working not just with professionals but also with parents," White said.

White said Walsh's experience includes not only children but adolescents as well.

"He really covers the whole spectrum of child brain development," he said.

At the event Thursday, free copies of Walsh's book "Smart Parenting, Smarter Kids" will be given to the first 200 people who attend.

More information about Walsh is available on his website.

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