Custom Class: header-cta-wrapper

Custom Class: header-sticky-wrapper

Custom Class: page-label

Welcome to BIS

Renowned child Psychologist Dr. Michael Thompson visits BIS

Dr. Michael Thompson workshops on "The Pressured Child" and "Best Friends/Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children"
Dr. Thompson, author of nine books related to raising children, has been a personal friend of Dr Chrissie Sorenson for the past 17 years and we were very excited she was able to secure his visit to BIS on 13th, 14th, and 15th March 2019 at both BIS campuses. We had multiple sessions within the school for teachers, students and parents.
Dr. Thompson had a full schedule, meeting our BIS counsellors, pastoral leaders and teachers, talking to Grade 9 and 10 students about pressure and stress management and giving Grade 4 through Grade 8 students an insight into the understanding of social lives at their age. He ran two workshops for parents: "The Pressured Child", held on 13th May 2019 at Haimhausen Campus, and "Best Friends/Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children", held on 14th May 2019 at both City and Haimhausen Campusses.
Breaking the ice by saying “You have to interact with this American psychologist”, parents were encouraged to asked questions. The audience was delighted to listen to the charming and knowledgeable school psychologist, who took as much time as possible to answer individual questions, in a patient, friendly and often humorous way.
“The Pressured Child”
Parents often consider their children's childhood as a career or career development, which poses a problem. In his workshop, Dr Thompson makes a clear call for a more relaxed approach - letting go and letting the children develop themselves. He argues that the school should not be a competition. Up until Grade 4, students going to school in the morning seek not only to spend time with good friends, but also seek the proximity of good teachers. Students do not always see the school as a "preparation for life", but live day by day in the present and that should be so, according to Thompson. Parents, on the other hand, often plan "Harvard, Harvard, Harvard". Good news for Europeans: by comparison, such parental pressure is much higher in the US than in Europe.
"Best Friends/Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children"
Every parent will come to the point where they realize, their child’s friends have more impact on them than they do. Which is, according to Dr Thompson, totally normal. For kids to stick out is very rare, usually they run with the pack. The origin of this pack mentality is the natural desire to be accepted, which continues into adulthood, i.e. by following a dress code for an event. Children teach each other to express themselves, they teach each other how to modulate aggressions to an acceptable level. Peers also have a profound influence on moral beliefs/values. Children teach each other self-worth, better than a parent ever could.
Dr. Michael Thompson
Parenting is a challenge, however trying to be a parent and friend to your child is impossible. Parents need to be prepared to make their children angry or frustrated by saying ‘no’ to something. This doesn’t mean that parents can’t have a good time with their children. The most important thing to do for parents is to keep the communication channel open – even if the child closes it down for a while. Most children don’t want their parents to be problems-solvers, and are not always looking for advice. They just want their parents to listen, let them have their own experiences and get appreciation for what they have done well.
“I have met the most socially capable students at International Schools,” Dr. Thompson stated, talking about third culture kids and what a high amount of work and dedication it takes to keep friendships alive after moving and being hundreds of miles apart.
Michael has worked as a clinical psychologist, school consultant and international speaker on the subjects of children, schools and parenting for the past 35 years. He has authored nine books focusing on the emotional lives of boys, friendships 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. His work with independent schools and public-school districts throughout the United States, and with international schools in Europe, Asia and South America has taken him to about fifty schools a year to lead workshops for teachers, administrators, parents and students.
More information to Dr Michael Thompson here: