CNN Profiles: Michael Thompson on raising independent children
Summer camp fosters independence and imagination in children, says psychologist and school consultant Michael Thompson
July 6th, 2012
12:56 PM ET

CNN Profiles: Michael Thompson on raising independent children

By Michael Schulder CNN

(CNN) – Extreme parents don't necessarily take a break over the summer. Neither does Michael Thompson. "You know you're an extreme parent," he tells me, "if you send your child to camp for a month and then you go on the website every day to find a smiling picture of your child and you get frantic and call the camp if you can't find one."

Michael Thompson is a psychologist and school consultant. He's author of the book “Homesick and Happy: How Time Away From Parents Can Help A Child Grow."

Some wisdom from Michael Thompson:

"You can't give your child self esteem, self esteem is a by product of skill." [1:45]

"You can't give your child independence. By definition you can't give it." [2:50]

"Camp is not school. I've got nutty parents who are thinking about college admissions when their child is in 2nd grade. That kind of anxiety bears down on kids. I believe summer should be a break from it. [8:50]

"Children like to learn, but don't always like to be taught." [24:31]

"Parenting makes you very serious and a bit judgmental. And the way you are wired into your children is both wonderful and for them a bit burdensome. That's parenting to me." [26:40]

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