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…

I used to think the mother in me was born when I had my first child. My first thought waking up after her birth was, “I’m a mother now.” My next thought was, “Where is my baby?!” When we assume responsibility for raising a child, the ignition of strong emotions such as alarm, joy, anticipation, and…

I cried all the way to school drop-off this morning. My daughters, buckled in their booster seats in our minivan, heard the voice of Hillary Rodham Clinton playing through the car radio as together we listened to her concession speech. My seven- and eight-year-olds glanced back and forth from each other, then back to me,…

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…

This is the final 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 second installment focused on common challenges of raising sensitive kids.   How can we give sensitive kids the best environment to grow in? While all children need developmentally…

I was recently asked to give the keynote address for a Behaviour Summit organized by the Eastern Townships School Board in Quebec. They called together all of their stakeholders: directors, principals, teachers, consultants, aides, lunch monitors, bus drivers, secretaries, trustees, and parents to brainstorm ideas for how to help students to better handle the behavioral…

I was sitting in my office with Jake helping him with his math when I heard crying coming down the hall. It was dismissal time for the Kindergarten students, and the hall was full of parents getting their little ones ready to transition back to home. We looked at each other, shrugged, and kept on…

I drove down the little lane towards the house in the country and I could see a little boy waiting for me. The farm was vast. The house was large and dark. The boy was little, somehow not really matching his surroundings. Peter had been suspended from the school on the last day of classes…

My daughter recently turned eight, just weeks before her brother reached his sixteenth year. Their grandparents gave them a gift everyone would enjoy – two plane tickets to come spend time with them. For weeks my daughter looked forward to this adventure with her beloved big brother. But as the weeks turned into days, the…

© 2016 The Neufeld Institute
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