Article By: Emmy Nam
As ISM continues to develop in every aspect, we have had the pleasure of hosting guests to speak to the school community about a variety of issues. Last week, the famous Dr. Michael Thompson enlightened us with many gripping discussions about adolescence and parenting.
Michael Thompson, Ph.D. is a consultant, author, and psychologist specializing in childrens and families. An accomplished author, he has written nine books that focus mainly on the emotional lives of boys, social relationships and cruelty in childhood, the impact of summer experiences on child development, tensions that arise in the parent-teacher relationships, and psychological aspects of school leadership. Dr. Thompson works as an international speaker that not only works with independent and public schools throughout the United States, but also travels to lead estimately 50 workshops per year all around the world.
In his visit last week, Dr. Thompson held various seminars for the parents and students of ISM. For his first seminar, which many student ambassadors were invited to, he suggested the suitable ways to welcome new students. One student, Tony Yoon, reflected that “Dr. Thompson gave [them] inspiring advice that would help [him] become a better leader,” and that it was an overall great experience. He also felt that the discussion was extremely applicable, for he advised the ambassadors on how to speak to new students if they weren’t opening up and how to make conversations more entertaining.
During his second seminar for students, “college craziness,” he talked about the importance of avoiding college overstressing, because life doesn’t end at college. After interviewing some seniors and juniors about the talk, it seemed that the seminar was highly effective and beneficial for students. One senior, Erin O’Reilly, voiced that “although there is an increasing amount of pressure put on students to be admitted to the highest colleges and be the best, there is also a growing movement of people who counteract that pressure, like Michael Thompson.” A junior, Javier Syquia, stated that “the talk was very informative and gave a different perspective on college admissions as a whole”, however it did not greatly impact him, because he was not immensely pressured to attend a ‘top college’. Consequently, this talk evidently allowed seniors and juniors to be more aware of the support they are provided with, which will hopefully help them be calm in the upcoming storm of stress surrounding college admissions.
To learn more about Michael Thompson, or the psychology of children, read some of his books, such as the Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow or Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys.