Michael G. Thompson has worked for nearly thirty-five years as a clinical psychologist, school consultant, author and international speaker on the subjects of children, schools and parenting. He is the author of nine books focusing on the emotional lives of boys, friendship and social cruelty in childhood, the impact of summer camp experiences on child development, the tensions that arise in the parent-teacher relationships, and psychological aspects of school leadership.
In this presentation, Dr. Thompson will speak about the complex social world of childhood and address questions, including: What do social relationships in school predict about happiness in adult life? What is the normal sequence of child friendships, from the parallel play of the two-year-old to the intimate self-disclosure of the adolescent? Why do cliques form and what are the differences between boy and girl groups? Why are children scapegoated and how can their parents and school protect them? Dr. Thompson will draw on research to highlight the differences between friendship and popularity. He will make suggestions about the management of social problems in schools and make the case that while all children yearn for popularity, it is friendship that helps children survive and thrive.