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…

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…

Six years ago, Neufeld faculty member Martine Demers took on a particularly noteworthy challenge: helping to turn around a K-6 elementary school nobody wanted. Over the 20 years that Martine has been the behavioural consultant at her school board in Quebec, she’s certainly run into her share of challenges. How could she not encounter some…

Hearts can grow cold and become hardened – something poets, artists, and musicians have always claimed. From children to adults, emotional numbing is part of the human condition and reveals the inherent vulnerability in a system that was built to feel deeply. As Hank Williams lamented, “Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt…

In the first part of this editorial on playful approaches to discipline, I talked about how we have become stuck in our misplaced belief that if we could control the outcomes of our children’s problem behaviour, discipline issues would be resolved. That is, we think if we could only get practical answers to our questions…

In this two-part editorial on discipline, Dr. Gordon Neufeld discusses the root causes of problem behaviour and their surprisingly playful solutions.   Play has been on my mind lately. Perhaps it is the influence of three young grandsons. Perhaps it is because I want to stay young, and playfulness definitely helps with that. Perhaps it…

“The heart has its reasons of which reason knows not.” In one eloquent blow, the 17th century scientist and philosopher Blaise Pascal both vindicated emotion and revealed the failure of reason. After a lifetime of studying the heart and at the risk of sounding somewhat arrogant, I think I’ve caught a glimpse of the heart’s…

In an earlier editorial I talked about guilt as an unpleasant emotion that is best kept in sight. Well, what about shame? Is that not what you also feel when you feel guilty? For purposes of gaining insight into these difficult feelings, it is important to distinguish between shame and guilt. As I said in…

When my eldest child was born the whole world shrunk down to the size of her face, the feel of her skin, the sound of her cries. The days grew long, I was bleary eyed with exhaustion, and all my energy went into the here and now, into meeting all the moment-to-moment needs of a…

© 2016 The Neufeld Institute
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