Barzdukas, Siegel teach ‘Parenting 101’

Elana Zeltser

School psychologist Dr. Sheila Siegel and Head of Upper School Audrius Barzdukas gave the second presentation in a series entitled HW Parenting 101 in the lounge on Dec. 6.

Together they answered parents’ questions about social life in high school, drawing from their own experiences raising teenagers.

One parent expressed concern about the explicit names of Harvard-Westlake parties as listed on Facebook invitations, saying that they make her hesitant to let her daughter attend.

“As somebody who is extremely reactive, I would react first and then ask questions,” Siegel said. “I would react and then I would ask ‘Why is this ok?’”

Barzdukas stressed the importance of communication in compromising the wants of parents and their children.

“As much respect as you want from them, you have to give more,” Barzdukas said.

When another parent asked how best to open conversation with her “mono-syllabic” child, Siegel recommended putting them in a car.

“If you drive carpool, it’s great,” Siegel said. “They forget you are there.”

Prior to this assembly, Siegel joined President Thomas Hudnut to discuss the “gift of failure,” focusing on “how to build grit and resilience” on Nov. 29.

Four more seminars will take place surrounding topics such as college, grades, meditation, and adulthood. The next meeting will take place on Jan. 10.