Connecting with Kids who Outwit Adults

Connecting with Kids who Outwit Adults

Dr. Larry Brendtro

Workshop link:

Many youths who most need positive adult relationships have experienced trauma and pain, causing them to be “adult-wary.” They react with conflict or avoidance to even the most well-meaning adults. Young people who distrust adults keep them at bay with strategies of Fight, Flight, or Fool, or they follow one another in group defiance of adults in authority. Successful youth workers need practical strategies to connect with kids in conflict, communicate in times of crisis, and restore harmony and bonds of respect. This presentation draws from the book Kids Who Outwit Adults which the presenter co-authored with a former youth at risk, Dr. John Seita, who is now a resilience scientist at Michigan State University.

Dr. Larry Brendtro is Professor Emeritus at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD, and Director of Resilience Resources which provides strength-based research, evaluation, and publications. Dr. Brendtro is a former president of Starr Commonwealth and served during three presidential administrations on the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. He is co-founder of the Circle of Courage model and Reclaiming Youth International. For more information see


Fri 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
35 max
intermediate, primary, Resilience, secondary