Pippin loves to herd. He loves to herd alpacas, which is a good thing because this is his job on the farm. He herds turkeys, which is not his job. He tries to herd people, which is often amusing and harmless. He herds cats, which is next to impossible. But he also tries to herd…

Editor’s Note: Mathieu Lyons is on Faculty and also the Director for the Neufeld Institute’s French program. We welcome this piece as his first editorial.   This year, my daughter (Emma, four) started her first organized group activity. She requested for many months to attend gymnastics’ class, but my wife and I tried to push back…

Bullies thrive on exploiting the vulnerability in others. Instead of protecting those who are in a weaker position they take advantage of them. They revel in having the upper hand. They don’t play by the rules or believe the rules apply to them. Bullies don’t think twice and lack the capacity for reflection. They are…

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there were four alpacas – Butterscotch, Charcoal, Cusco, and Fiesta – living on our farm, somewhat peacefully. One day, three new alpacas came to live with us, and the peace was disturbed. We observed with bated breath as the alpacas worked out who would be the new alpha, the…

The devastating forest fires that are affecting Fort McMurray, Alberta are every parent’s nightmare, as are similar natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes. Our deepest instincts are to keep our children safe and provide a stable, caring environment for them. When our homes are threatened and destroyed, our foundation is gone. The…

As we collectively grieve the death of faculty member Gail Carney, we continue our series of personal stories and anecdotes to share glimpses into the impact she made on her colleagues and friends. What I treasure most about Gail is there was something solid in her you could lean against and find rest in. She…

This is the second installment of Dr. Deborah MacNamara’s three-part series on the sensitive (‘orchid’) child. The first installment painted a picture of the sensitive (‘orchid’) child. The term ‘orchid child’ is based on language that has been traditionally used in some parenting literature, used here as a descriptive metaphor with care that it not become…

Ralfe Clench was a kind of genius, and a memorable character, whose job was in the administration department at Queenʼs University: he determined the course schedule, by hand, for 2,000 students in the days before computers, and he knew the human face that went with each schedule. He was also the self-appointed (and unofficial) teacher who…

The other day I had a bit of a shock when I realized Mrs. Haskins, my beloved grade 2 and 3 teacher, would now be close to 100 years old. Mrs. Haskins was one of my favourite teachers because she had a wonderful blend of alpha qualities; she was kind yet firm. She was definitely in…

What is an alpha complex you may ask? To begin with, there are many faces to the alpha complex. Some alpha children present as bossy and prescriptive, dominating and controlling, compelled to take charge. They are most comfortable when in the lead and when giving the orders.  Other alpha children are like mother hens, inclined…

© 2016 The Neufeld Institute
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