When we give birth to a child, we also need to cultivate the village of adults that will help us raise them. This community may consist of daycare workers, teachers, coaches, instructors, and extended family. This is critical as children flourish in environments where there is a seamless connection or invisible matrix of adults surrounding…

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…

One of the most common questions I am asked about relationships is whether a child can be too attached? There is a general fear and persistent myth that if we focus on building relationships with our kids, we may hinder their grow as independent and self-sufficient beings. There is a paradoxical relationship between attachment and…

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…

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…

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…

She’s crying again. More like a high-pitched scream. I am so exhausted! Why isn’t she?? She seems to be beyond herself now – in a frenzied state. And all I can think about is the paper I still need to write before morning. My plan was 8 pm – lights out! Then it was going to be…

“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…

My young daughter’s panicky shriek of “Mama no go” and “stay Mama” was part of the morning ritual as I left the house to go to work. Screaming and clinging to my legs she tried to stop me with sheer toddler force. Her pleading voice would ring in my head throughout the day. My anxiety…

© 2016 The Neufeld Institute
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