Mark Bertin, MD and Your Child’s Resilience and Independence


Mark Bertin, MD and Your Child’s Resilience and Independence

I’m so excited about this year’s Change for Good Summit: Building Resilience in Anxious Times. Grace and I have been interviewing some really amazing people who have some really amazing information and insights to share and I can’t wait for you to get your hands on all of it! 

My interview with Mark Bertin, MD has really been sticking in my mind and I’d like to tell you why. Dr. Bertin is a neurodevelopmental pediatrician (meaning he specializes in children’s developmental issues, such as learning problems, ADD/ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders) who has integrated mindfulness concepts into his practice, when families are open to them. 

I’m always interested in talking with other physicians who have started from a strong background in science and conventional medicine and have been led by their personal and patients’ experiences to consider other options enough to actually bring them to their practice. 

Dr. Bertin started his career as a general pediatrician. After a few years of practice, he saw that he had a special interest in developmental issues and completed a fellowship in neurodevelopmental behavioral pediatrics at the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (Rose Kennedy Center) at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He also started studying and practicing mindfulness for himself. 

He saw the advantages of mindfulness, and, as more and more studies proved its effectiveness, started offering mindfulness ideas and practices to his patients. In addition to all of his other classes and offerings, he teaches mindfulness classes. He has written four books so far: How Children Thrive: The Practical Science of Raising Independent, Resilient, and Happy Kids; Mindful Parenting for ADHD; The Family ADHD Solution; and co-authored Teaching Mindfulness Skills to Kids and Teens.

I also really like ideas that simplify complex topics and/or bring together and show the commonality of seemingly disparate concepts, like how the Vedic model of a human integrates all the practices in body, mind, and energy medicines, or how consulting with your inner wisdom simplifies choosing the right way to eat, exercise, or treat your illness. Dr. Bertin points out another such idea that simplifies parenting and unifies many ideas in child behavior and development: Executive Function. 

I tell you, I wished I’d had How Children Thrive when my kids were little. (Luckily, they came out okay, anyway.) Dr. Bertin looks at child development, and specifically, developing resilience and independence, through the lens of executive function. Executive function can be thought of as your inner manager and can be practiced and taught. It helps you manage your 

  • attention, focusing when needed, shifting when needed
  • actions, self-control and learn from mistakes
  • tasks, helping you organize, plan, prioritize, and manage your time
  • information and your ability to organize, remember, and retrieve it
  • emotions and your ability to experience them without necessarily acting on them and 
  • efforts, helping you persevere, sustain and work efficiently.

“In essence, executive function’s job is to integrate what we encounter in life with what we know and then decide how to respond.” Excellent executive function has been correlated with improved health, wealth, happiness and success. 

Come listen to what Dr. Bertin has to say about how to de-stress your parenting while improving your child’s resilience, independence, and chances for a happy, successful life. Invite your family, friends, teachers…anyone you know who has or works with children. The Summit airs in November and you can register for free here. Thank you. 

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