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"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.
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.
He and his co-author, Dan Kindlon, wrote the New York Times best-selling book, Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys (Ballantine Books, 1999). He is the author of Speaking of Boys: Answers to the Most-Asked Questions about Raising Sons (Ballantine, 2000), and co-author (with Catherine O’Neill Grace and Larry Cohen, Ph.D.) of Best Friends/Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children (Ballantine, 2001) and Mom, They’re Teasing Me: Helping Your Child Solve Social Problems (Ballantine, 2002.) About Best Friends, Worst Enemies the Publishers Weekly review declared, “Not since Dr. Spock and Penelope Leach has there been such a sensitive and practical guide to raising healthy children.” The Pressured Child: Helping Your Child Achieve Success in School and in Life (with Teresa Barker, Ballantine, 2004) was written to help parents understand the complex journey of children through school, from Kindergarten through senior year. His third book on the psychology of boys, entitled, It’s a Boy!: Understanding Your Son’s Development from Birth to Eighteen, was published in 2008. It focuses on the importance of undirected, free play in the lives of boys. Dr. Thompson’s newest book, Homesick and Happy: How Time Away From Parents Can Help a Child Grow, was published by Ballantine Books in May of 2012.
A dedicated speaker and traveler, Michael Thompson has appeared on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC 20/20, CBS 60 Minutes, The Early Show and Good Morning America. He has been quoted in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Time and U.S. News and World Report and has been a guest on NPR’s “Morning Edition” with Susan Stamberg, “Talk of the Nation” with Ray Suarez and the Diane Rhem Show. He wrote, narrated and hosted a two-hour PBS documentary entitled “Raising Cain” that was broadcast nationally in 2006.