PCCTL Speaker Series in Honor of the Class of 2016
Dr. Michael Thompson Returns to Breck!
Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D. is a consultant, author and psychologist specializing in children and families. He is the supervising psychologist for the Belmont Hill School and has worked in more than seven hundred schools across the United States, as well as in international schools in Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
"The Pressured Child" is, in fact, a presentation for "pressured parents" who have forgotten what school is actually like. It is a talk for parents who are gripped by worries and misapprehensions about their children's life in school. In the presentation, Dr. Thompson describes the psychological journey that children experience during their thirteen years in school. He reminds parents that children are almost never judging themselves by grades: they are always monitoring their own development and constantly searching for three things: connection, recognition and a sense of power. He illustrates how children find those in many different arenas of school life. There are three kinds of children in school: 1) those whose journeys are characterized mostly by success, 2) those whose journeys are characterized by a chronic but manageable struggle, and 3) those whose journeys are characterized by fury and despair. Each journey has its own different pressures. Every child is constantly developing strategies for coping with the pressures that he or she feels. In order to write the book, Dr. Thompson went back to school, following students, seventh graders through seniors, in independent, Catholic, and public schools. In the book and in this talk, he shares stories from the trenches, taking parents and teachers into the school day experience of children, illuminating how they manage their school careers and how the best educators and wisest parents can support them along the way.