Eat Chat Parent welcomes best-selling author Jessica Lahey

Jessica Lahey is a bestselling author who has written columns for The New York Times and contributed to The Atlantic.
Paul Morigi/AP

Parents, coaches and educators have long been challenged about how much freedom and independence to provide children, and the pandemic has only complicated the issue.

Likewise, our human relationship with substances is complex with deep roots and broad impacts. Looking for urgent, practical advice to support your child and help them succeed in a culture of dependency? Are you curious about the intricacies of addiction and strategies for having difficult conversations with those you love?

Mountain Youth, Vail Mountain School, and Eagle Valley Behavioral Health are teaming up to bring bestselling author Jessica Lahey to Eagle County for two separate Eat Chat Parent presentations on serious topics. Jessica embraces the topics of education, parenting, wellness and addiction and has written for The Washington Post, New York Times and The Atlantic.

The first night is scheduled for Monday, March 28 at Vail Mountain School where Lahey will focus on nurturing children’s sense of curiosity, urging us to support their motivation, direction, and achievement. Discover tips and strategies based on Jessica’s New York Times bestseller, “The Gift of Failure.”

“Jessica Lahey has an important message for parents raising children of all ages,” said Dr. Kate Drescher, school psychologist at Vail Mountain School. “For parents, there is no job more important than caring for the welfare of their children. They feel their children’s sadness over a disappointment or loss, and the need to relieve them of that pain or discomfort can be powerful. Although it is sometimes very appropriate and necessary for parents to stand up for their children, Lahey explains that by being overprotective, this well-meaning action prevents children from developing the ability to learn from their setbacks and develop a sense of self-reliance. self-efficacy. .”

While modern parenting is defined by an unprecedented level of overprotection, letting go allows children to learn to solve problems on their own.

“Research is clear that when we over-parent our children, we actually cause them to be less able to learn, innovate and respond to physical, emotional and intellectual challenges,” said Amy Baker, head of the education for Mountain. Youth. “We need to allow children to experience disappointment and frustration instead of permanently shielding them from it.”

Ultimately, we can give young people the tools to become empowered, confident and successful throughout their lives.

Lahey’s Conversation on Tuesday, March 29 will provide an intimate and thought-provoking platform focused on the addiction prevention themes of Lahey’s most recent production, “The Addiction Inoculation.”

Local student survey data from Healthy Kids Colorado shows that alcohol, marijuana and vaping continue to be among the most popular substances used by teens, affecting one-third of local high school students. This Eat Chat Parent will begin with a heartfelt account of Lahey’s alcoholism before moving on to an explanation of the harmful effects of alcohol and drugs on the developing brain of adolescents and young adults.

“Lahey’s foray into neurobiology is shaped by peer-reviewed journals, so the science is sound, as is his emotional and behavioral insights into mental health. It’s a must-have conversation for parents, teachers, or anyone who works with young people,” Baker said. Participants will leave with a better understanding of the roots of drug addiction and practical prevention strategies.

Vail Health’s Eagle Valley Behavioral Health is excited to help bring these opportunities to the community.

“The topics that will be covered will absolutely help parents have important conversations with their children,” said Dr. Casey Wolfington, Senior Director of Community Behavioral Health for Eagle Valley Behavioral Health. “However, we also hope that these presentations will increase our ability to support our friends, colleagues and communities. The topics affect us all.

Each evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a free healthy meal and will offer free Spanish interpretation and babysitting. While in-person attendance is encouraged to strengthen connection, virtual opportunities exist every night. Please register today at

Mountain Youth partners with Vail Mountain School and Eagle Valley Behavioral Health to bring Lahey to our community. Additional support exists from Vail Health, Eagle County School District, Alpine Bank, Vail Resorts Epic Promise, The Slifer Smith & Frampton Foundation, Eagle County Schools, El Pomar, Towns of Avon, Eagle, Gypsum and Vail, Eagle River Foundation, Vail Valley Cares, SAMHSA, Wells Fargo, Colorado Bureau of Behavioral Health, and Eagle County Government.


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