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…

The passing of time – we all experience it. It is not something that can be escaped, only acknowledged or denied. But what if the relationship we take up with time could change our experience of it?  For some of us, we have recently celebrated the beginning of a new “calendar” year: January 1st. I…

The world can be an alarming place. Difficult things happen that are out of our control. And yet, it is not about the trauma itself–what happens or doesn’t happen to us or around us– but what happens inside of us as a result. And about who is, or isn’t, present with us in our pain.   This is…

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…

As parents are pondering the best path forward for their children and families during this pandemic, a number of pundits have been featured on Canadian news channels urgently stating that children NEED to go to school. One even stated that children need to go to school more than they or their families need to be kept…

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?…

I’d like to share a few thoughts on taking care of children in alarming times. These are not new ideas by any means, more like reminders for those who are familiar with the attachment-based developmental approach. I’ll try to keep it brief as alarm has a way of shortening our attention spans. But first, some comments…

Health is something we all desire for our children. Physical health is fairly straightforward to assess, as problems usually show up in terms of pain and discomfort. Emotional health, however, is a bit trickier to measure; how do we even know what to look for?  Consider this story from Tamara … I had a weeping…

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…

Last Fall, our three-year-old son Nathan’s favourite book was ”The Three Little Pigs.” Many afternoons were spent with Nathan pretending to be the piggy with the straw house while Emma, our five-year-old daughter, was the piggy with the wood house and Mom was the piggy with the brick house (the secure benchmark, the answer to…

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