A2 Independent Schools – Best Friends, Worst Enemies with Dr. Michael Thompson

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Psychologist and author Dr. Michael Thompson will talk about community, friendship, social power, and bullying in childhood.

Media attention on bullying in schools has many parents seeing childhood social relationships only through the lens of bullying. That focus is simplistic and unfortunate because most school communities are places of tolerance and inclusion, as well as occasional bullying. For children, the relationship with friends is one of the most important things in their lives, a source of learning and growth. However, all children also discover social power and experiment with teasing and exclusion. Classes are stratified into very popular, accepted, ambiguous, neglected, controversial and rejected children. In this talk, Dr. Thompson will distinguish between the normal social pain of childhood from which all children learn and actual bullying, which is traumatizing. He will discuss ways in which communities can make children safer.

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