Parenthetical Interviews Dr. Laura Kastner co-author of Getting to Calm: Cool-headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens and Teens

We are featuring our first author interview!!! Parenthetical team members, Becky and Libby, had the pleasure of interviewing author Dr. Laura Kastner.  Dr. Kastner co-wrote one of our favorite parenting books for parents of tweens and teens called: Getting to Calm: Cool-headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens and Teens.  Last week we reviewed Getting to Calm.  Today we are posting the first of several video excerpts of our interview with Dr. Kastner.

Laura Kastner is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington.  She is also the co-author of several books for parents of adolescents.  In the following video interview with Parenthetical, Dr. Kastner combines her knowledge of the teenage brain and her experiences working with parents and families to describe a tool for parents to use in those moments when teens just make us want to scream.

Dr. Kastner explains that staying calm in these stressful moments is key.  While in emotional situations, our body’s automatic responses fight with our rational mind making it challenging to maintain a calm response. Using a tool or having a process for getting calm helps us to engage a different part of our brain and more easily access an alternate response – cooling down.

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So how can we get to calm?  In the following video clip, we asked Dr. Kastner to describe the principle of CALM described in her book and explain how it can be helpful for parenting teens.

Remembering the acronym CALM (C: Cool down, A: Assess your options, L: Listen with empathy, M: Map a plan) can be a parent’s secret weapon for maintaining control in emotionally charged situations.  But, how does CALM work in real life? For instance, what do you do when your child isn’t where you planned?  Or how do you respond when your child puts him or herself in risky situations or rebels against your values?  In the next video clip, Dr. Kastner describes how one parent used the CALM technique.

Watch for more clips from our interview with Dr. Kastner in the next few months!

Can you think of a time you could have used the CALM technique? Do you have a personal “calming” technique that works for you?


Article by Anne

Anne-Headshot-useAnne is an interim Extension Specialist with Cooperative Extension Family Living Programs at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is also a doctoral student in Human Development & Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and has a masters degree in Public Health. She is the oldest of three children.