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Engaging students on the Oberursel (above) and Wiesbaden (below) campuses
A Session for Everyone
Child development and parenting expert Dr. Michael Thompson shares insight with the FIS community
Awhirlwind, three-day visit by psychologist and child development and parenting expert, Michael Thompson, started o  with a bang as Dr. Thompson dove right into the meat of matters with a dynamic presentation: “Raising a Responsible Child.” Weaving in personal and clinical experiences with research on the outcomes of di erent parenting styles, Dr. Thompson called upon audience members to share their own real-life examples, providing an interesting and personal context for the presentation. The informative, engaging – and humorous – talk was just the  rst of nearly a dozen that
Dr. Thompson gave to groups of parents, faculty and sta , and students at FIS and FISW.
In his sessions geared speci cally toward students, Dr. Thompson, who is also an author and renowned speaker both within independent and international schools, shared his expertise on topics ranging from friendships to school pressure during presentations with titles like “Best Friends, Worst Enemies” and “College Craziness.”
Grade 6 FISW student Inika said, “Dr. Thompson explained very well how things are in Middle School. It was good to know so we can get a sense of what happens in bigger schools and for the long term, for going into higher grades.”
His keynote presentation to parents by the same title as one of his best-selling books, “It’s a Boy,” addressed the worries that parents of boys have from infancy through high school, shedding some light on which behaviors are normal versus those that could be worrisome. Parent participation and engagement was high, and Dr. Thompson  elded numerous questions from the packed auditorium while providing concrete examples of how to manage behaviors.
Dr. Thompson’s visit ended with a special dads-only breakfast session – complete with scrambled eggs and bacon – where the topic centered on the importance of
fathers in a child’s life. The dads-only gathering generated the largest attendance of FIS fathers in recent memory and Dr. Thompson addressed the unique roles fathers have in their families, and encouraged them to develop the relationships with their children by establishing traditions and experiences that are father-child speci c. As a father who travels often, Dr. Thompson’s talk also addressed the speci c needs of expatriate fathers who are frequently away to optimize their time with family when they are
at home.
One FIS father said, “It was great to see how many men showed up for the breakfast, from stay-at-home dads to business executives. It illustrated just how much everyone prioritized their children over everything else.”
Many thanks go to the school’s counseling department, which organized Dr. Thompson’s visit, and to Dr. Thompson himself for leaving hundreds of the school’s community members with tips and tools for navigating the intricacies both of being a child – and of raising one.
Ricky Donnelly
FIS World Sta  Writer
October 2017 FIS World 5

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