This is a story about defensive blindness – insights thanks to Butterscotch the alpaca, a garage door, and a haircut. Every morning our alpacas move from the front field to the back. When we first took over the herd, they would follow our lead. We would open the first gate and they would follow us…

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…

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…

When families live through difficult times, be they natural disasters like hurricanes, forest fires, tornadoes, floods, or family tragedies such as car accidents or the sudden death of a loved one, there are many different ways to respond. In my last editorial, I encouraged parents to allow their children to express their feelings, and especially…

Dagmar is on Faculty with the Neufeld Institute and director of the German language Neufeld training and education. When my marriage broke up, my biggest concern and feeling of guilt was: What are we doing to our children? Children are creatures of attachment – attachment does not just happen in a short window of time…

As we move into September and back into the swing of school routines, homework, and after-school activities, I often remind parents to be extra sensitive to the presence of the ‘overlies’ in their children. I use the term ‘overly’ to refer to the state of being over-tired, over-excited, overwhelmed, overly frustrated, over-stretched and over-the-top with…

I have talked about guilt and shame. Now it is time for blame, the third sibling. Sometimes it is clear who is at fault. However, often it is not clear, especially with children and adolescents. One of the ways of relieving guilt (did something wrong) or shame (something is wrong with me) is to shift…

My daughter was having a hard day. As the youngest of three she was trying to keep up with her older siblings and the neighbour kids – attempting hold her own in a series of rousing outdoor games. It didn’t go well. Nobody was being mean to her, or excluding her, or teasing her, but…

© 2016 The Neufeld Institute
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