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Kids Can Be Cruel!

April 30 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Kids Can Be Cruel!

Children don’t want adults to be involved in their social lives. They hate it when teachers interfere. Yet teachers are witnesses to the exclusion of low-status children in elementary schools and the popularity wars of middle school and they must act to protect the weak. Parents also see the friendship difficulties of their own children. Some take their children’s social ambitions to heart and worry that their children are not popular. Other parents hope the school can protect their children from all social pain. Social cruelty among kids is one of the most difficult things that adults must confront in raising or educating children.

Join the Westford Parent Connection on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 for Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Friendship Development, Popularity, And Social Cruelty In Childhood, a dynamic presentation by Dr. Michael Thompson. Dr. Thompson is an internationally recognized, highly acclaimed speaker, author, and psychologist. His talk will be held at the Stony Brook Middle School, 9 Farmer Way, Westford, at 7:00 p.m. Due to the generosity of many sponsors, the presentation is free and open to the public. It is appropriate for parents, guardians, and teachers of children of all ages, but may be particularly helpful for those who have younger kids in their lives.

Dr. Thompson walks teachers and parents through the complex social world of childhood ad addresses a number of questions: What do social relationships in school predict about happiness in adult life? What is the normal sequence of child friendships, from the parallel play of the two-year-old to the intimate self-disclosure of the adolescent? Why do cliques form and what are the differences between boy and girl groups? Why are children scapegoated and how can their parents and school protect them? Dr. Thompson will draw on research to highlight the differences between friendship and popularity. He makes suggestions about the management of social problems in schools, and builds the case that while all children yearn for popularity, is it friendship that truly helps children survive and thrive.

For more information about Dr. Thompson, go to For more details about the Westford Parent Connection, check out or contact Mary Anne Seraphin at


April 30
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Westford Parent Connection


Stony Brook Middle School
9 Farmer Way
Westford, MA 01886 United States
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