Beverly Speaker Series Topic is The Nature of Boys

The Beverly Speaker Series host Dr. Michael Thompson discussing the nature of boys and how we raise and educate them, Tues., Mar. 7, 7 p.m., Morgan Park Academy, 2153 W. 111th St. It is the final presentation in the three-part series.

For nearly 35 years, Thompson has worked as a clinical psychologist, school consultant 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, friendships and social cruelty in childhood; the tensions that arise in parent-teacher relationships; and psychological aspects of school leadership.

According to Thompson, U.S. educators and parents are engaged in an important debate about the way to raise and educate boys, and that boys are four times more likely than girls to be sent to a school psychologist, and are diagnosed with 60 to 80% of learning disorders. Because their areas of strength — physical activity and visual-spatial perception – do not easily fit into the school environment, boys do not do as well in school as girls, and are at risk for concluding that schools don’t work for them.

Thompson work reveals that in early adolescence, most boys begin to attach their sense of status to mastery and achievement, which may lead them to adhere to a narrow ideology of masculinity: avoidance of feeling or anything feminine, and fear of personal weakness. As a result, boys may appear closed or angry. In this talk, Dr. Michael Thompson gives suggestions to teachers, fathers and mothers about how to support a boy in the early years of school and how to help a boy remain emotionally open in adolescence.

Dr. Thompson’s work with independent schools and public school districts throughout the United States and internationally, takes him to about 50 schools a year to lead workshops for teachers, administrators, parents and students. Television appearances include Today, The Oprah Winfrey Show, 20/20 and 60 Minutes. He wrote, narrated and hosted a two-hour PBS documentary entitled “Raising Cain: Exploring the Inner Lives of America’s Boys” that was broadcast nationally in 2006

The Beverly Speaker Series is a community collaboration of local businesses, civic organizations, and educational institutions hosting nationally recognized experts in the field of education, child development, and parenting. The intention is to inspire and support families and educators about topics that are important to the well-being of children in our neighborhood. The theme of the 2016-2017 Speaker Series is understanding, connecting and supporting adolescence.

Educators who attend the presentation are eligible to receive professional development hours. There is no cost for speaking event, however donations are being accepted to support future speakers. Information about the series and professional development, registration and donations: www.beverlyyogacenter.com or beverlyyogacenter1@gmail.com.

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