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Talk on child friendship starts off family-oriented seminar series

Best-selling author Michael G. Thompson will present a seminar on "Friendship Development, Popularity and Social Cruelty" on Friday, Oct. 15 from noon-1pm in Rm 16-168. The talk is sponsored by the MIT Family Resource Center.

Dr. Thompson, a Cambridge-based psychologist and school consultant, will discuss the nature of friendships, cliques and popularity in school-age children and teens. He will also offer strategies for parents when concerns arise about children's friendships, such as when children are teased or bullied, when they feel isolated and when they have friends of whom parents do not approve. Dr. Thompson's most recent book, co-authored by Dan Kindlon, is Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys (Ballantine, 1999).

The seminar is one of more than 20 noontime workshops and briefings offered this semester by the Family Resource Center. Topics for other upcoming seminars, to be held in Rm 16-151, include "Moving to Boston: Some Tips for International Newcomers" (October 7), "Do Parents Matter?" (October 18), "Making Financial Ends Meet" (October 19), "Gifted Children: Social, Intellectual and Emotional Issues" (October 26), "Raising Bilingual Children" (November 2), "The Portrayal of Family Life on Television" (November 8), "Preparing for a Baby" (November 9, 16 and 23), "Job Flexibility" (November 18), "When Partners Are From Different Religions" (November 19) and "Parenting Teenagers" (December 6).

Also scheduled throughout the fall are noontime briefings on infant/toddler child care, short-term/backup child care and summer camps, as well as ongoing discussion groups. Individual consultations are always available to members of the MIT community by appointment on these topics and on any other child care, school, parenting or work/family issue.

All seminars are free and open to the public. Preregistration is requested but not required. For further information or to preregister, contact the Family Resource Center in Rm 16-151, x3-1592, send e-mail to, or see the FRC web site.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 6, 1999.

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