chick in hand

Some of our first pets were baby chicks — twenty-day-old precious Buff Orpingtons, Australorps, and Rhode Island Reds. New to chicken farming, my husband and I learned how to care for them alongside our children. I could tell on that first day, however, that one of those chicks was not like the others. It was…

Hearts on a string

Recently I was saying goodbye to my 24-year-old daughter who was going off on a long overseas journey: a trip she was both excited about and ready for. The intention for the trip is that it will be not only an exploration of new lands, but also an exploration of her inner landscape. After all…

Art journal sun

“Just make a mark,” Tammy said, as she boldly drew a messy line on her paper. I had been the kind of girl who coloured between the lines. I wasn’t comfortable with things that were uncomfortable. Things I didn’t know how to do. Things that were messy. Yet something had been shifting and I knew…

Oh my … how a heart can stretch when it gets to love something. When it really, excruciatingly loves, in a nonsensical, absolutely unreasonable kind of way. There are other ways to find it of course, but our children are especially magical at evoking this particular breed of love. It’s the kind that is needed…

I have tried to tell the story of frustration in a one-day seminar, a two-day course, and even a three-day course, but I remain unsatisfied that the story has truly been heard. If one is to believe Chris Anderson, the curator for TED Talks, my problem has been too many words. According to him, the…

The theme of Neufeld Institute Conference 2022 is the recovery of well-being, especially during and after times of stress. Given the central role of play in this process, we asked some of our conference presenters to share stories that provide a glimpse of play at work. The following are three of the stories that were…

Re-entry has begun and we are now preparing to return to parts of our lives, like work and schooling, without knowing exactly what this looks like. How do we lead our children? What do they need from us? Can they adapt to the new realities of social distancing at schools and will this create anxiety…

Tummy aches and monsters in the closet. Headaches and risky behaviour. Frequent hand-washing and repetitive behaviours. These are all manifestations of alarm. Thinking about this list of manifestation probably doesn’t make any of us feel very playful, however play is often just what is needed to keep our children’s alarm system healthy and well-functioning. The…

If one were trying to create a recipe for frustration, these past few months would be the winning combination. Frustration is one of our primary mammalian emotions and it arises when things are not going the way we want them to. Not being able to move about the world as we are used to doing?…

Spoiler alert– This may make you cry. I would advise against reading if you are still under the age of 35, your middle name is ‘merry’, or your Santa Claus is coming.  It’s the time of year again when I yearn for the most melancholy music I can find. As I’m writing this, I’m listening…

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