How to overcome middle school struggles

Michael Pritchard, Humanist & Child Advocate, shares advice for parents on how to help your child overcome problems faced by kids in middle school such as bullying, peer pressure, and more
How To Help Kids Overcome Middle School Struggles
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How to overcome middle school struggles

You know middle school is that time in their lives when they're in struggle trying to figure out not just who they are. I love those lines they tell you. You see the problem is just trying to fit in. One of the great descriptions I asked a little kid, I said, how do you get through middle school? He said, you've got to be like a crab. I said, you mean grumpy? He said, no, crabs always move sideways. Never forward or back. That way they always fit in. They pinch. You have to be able to pinch back. You have to have a hard outer shell, cause some of them are wicked vicious. But really like a crab, you should have a soft side, cause you could make a friend for life. And it's important for our kids to know that that friendship stuff is really important. Relationships, there's a line in the movie Stand By Me that goes, does anybody have friends like they do when they're 12? Teach your kid that. Friendship is the key. And I mean, when you teach a kid anything, what's going to sustain them, the pathway through middle school is absolutely friendships. There are so many pressures to these kids. They're trying so hard to please everybody, to be authentic. There are so many pressures from the parents' fears and overwhelming paranoia that they won't get into the right school, the right university. And the kid doesn't realize that fear is the little dark room where negatives are developed. We have to live our lives in faith. And parents don't either. Let them be children. Let them breathe. That's what middle school should be. Let them breathe. Let them become themselves. Working in hospice, as I do, the one thing that they most worry about, and that's what I teach middle school kids - what people think of me is nobody's business. Who cares? They don't know my heart. They don't know my journey. They haven't lived my life. I'm not going to worry about. And teach parents not to over stand, but to understand. That's the key.

Michael Pritchard, Humanist & Child Advocate, shares advice for parents on how to help your child overcome problems faced by kids in middle school such as bullying, peer pressure, and more


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Michael Pritchard

Humanist & Child Advocate

Michael Pritchard is a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker praised by the Wall Street Journal, CNN and Time for his ability to use humor to inspire and educate his audiences on communication skills. Michael Pritchard is a big guy with a warm heart who as one student described him, “truly walks as he talks.”

He began his career on both the comedy stage and as a juvenile counselor in San Francisco’s Youth Guidance Center. In 1980, Michael Pritchard won first place in the San Francisco International Stand Up Comedy Competition as well as winning the prestigious California Probation Officer of the Year.

Michael’s offers from Hollywood rolled in including a guest appearance on an Emmy Award winning episode of “Taxi”. His sensational standup comedy billed him with Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Dana Carvey and Whoopi Goldberg playing venues as Caesar’s, the Comedy Store, Universal Ampitheater and opening for such names as Diana Ross, the Grateful Dead, Kenny Rogers, Mike Mc Donald and Boz Scaggs. But Michael rejected offers from Hollywood to focus on using his comic talents for inspiring youth and adults.

Drawing from his counseling background, Michael Pritchard began using humor to inspire, teach communication skills, anger management, diversity, conflict resolution and overcoming burnout and stress.

His broad base of audience from corporate employees, healthcare workers, government and state officials have honored him with countless standing ovations and numerous awards including: President’s Volunteer Action Award, Commendation - Office of the Attorney General , Paul Harris Fellowship - Rotary International, Toastmaster’s International Speaker, Outstanding Performance - Federal Executive Board , Josephine Duveneck Humanitarian Award and the Key to the City of San Francisco.As a result of his work, Michael Pritchard has been featured on CNN, NBC’s “The Today Show”, “The Tonight Show”, CBS “Sunday Morning” with Charles Kuralt, “Time” magazine and “People” magazine.

His seven educational series for PBS and distribution has been seen by millions and focuses on youth guidance in the areas of violence prevention. “The Power of Choice” “You can Choose”, “Big Changes, Big Choices”.

Forming Heartland Media, he continued with “Red Ribbon Week” and “PeaceTalks” teaching students to make positive choices.“SOS: Saving Our Schools from Hate and Violence”, featured in both Time magazine and on CNN, filmed after the tragic Columbine disaster. His new series: “Lifesteps” builds the social and emotional intelligence in youth and has already received the Parents Choice Award

For his work in promoting nonviolence with youth, Dr. Michael Pritchard was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Hartwick University and winning, 2001 Lewis Hine’s Award for Service to Children & Youth Certificate of Appreciation and the 2002 Marin Community Foundations Beryl Buck Fund Award for achievement in Promoting Nonviolence.

As an extension of Heartland Media, he established Heartland Media Foundation building character and emotional intelligence, violence prevention, inciting motivation and leadership in both youth and adults to improve schools and communities. The foundation provides youth guidance programs, including video, print curriculum, and live presentations by Michael Pritchard to aid in schools and communities where the funding is limited.

In the fund raising capacity, Michael Pritchard has help raise millions of dollars by donating his time and talent to events and various charitable organizations including: Boys and Girls Club – Ronald McDonald House –Salvation Army - Jewish Family Services – SF Giants Community Fund – American Heart Association –Women’s Wellness Forum – Special Olympics - CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates - Bread & Roses – Recreation Center for the Handicapped –– DARE –– Texan’s War on Drugs –– Vietnam Vets of America - Guide Dogs for the Blind

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