gordon neufeld

gordon neufeld.png

intro’d to Gordon via Gabor.. when first read hold on to kids 10 or so years ago.. adding page while reading hold on to 2nd time.. same time as reading clean


nov 2016 – Relationship Matters | Dr. Gordon Neufeld | TEDxWestVancouverED – 20 min


for lovers of knowledge.. there’s no better time to be alive..

my desire has been to transcend the details and get a glimpse of the big picture.. what have i seen..?  that if widely known i believe, would revolutionize our school system, transform our daycare system, restore natural intuition to parenting… relationship matters.. 

perhaps.. if we truly grok this bigger/deeper picture.. we’d realize that ie: natural intuition would render school/daycare as part of the problem..

we are creatures of attachment .. we long for togetherness and are stung by its lack

almaas holes law

there is no greater need than holding on.. and no greater stress than separation from those we’re attached to

relationship is the context in which learning naturally occurs.. the context in which children were meant to be raised.. brought to their full potential/well-being


4 min – story of taking care of two grandchildren and their reacting differently.. didn’t matter that i’d written a book or that i love him w all my heart.. the bottom was that he was not attached sufficiently enough to me to render him receptive to my care.. i was stymied.. because i did not have his heart.. so i could not do my job..

we were never meant to take care of children whose hearts we did not have

5 min – peer oriented children and foster children (as a group) are the most problematic to parenting



6 min – we have been parenting for thousands of years.. yet probably never knew what to do.. the parents of yesterday undoubtedly bluffed it .. but they had something we can no longer take for granted and that is the hearts of their children.. our culture has fallen down on that (attachment) it serves the dollar more than the relationship

7 min – we have more info than ever before on raising children.. despite all this.. parenting is getting harder.. the reason is deceptively simple..  we are losing the context in which to raise our children.. and in response to this.. we are looking for answers in all the wrong places..

ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work

we are asking what should i do rather than how can i be the answer to this child’s relational needs.. 

eudaimoniative surplus.. via daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city

we’re looking for answers rather than stepping up to be their answer.. we’re asking what to do when things go wrong rather than how to hold onto them when problems arise..

if relationship matters we need to take precautions to preserver it.. work w/in it..

2 convers as infra

as it could be..

we need to engage attachment instincts before proceeding any further

do this firstfree art ists.. imagine a turtle..

missing pieces..  first

8 min – we have come to believe that knowledge is power.. this simply is not so.. not in parenting and teaching.. it’s their relationship to us

teaching..? – how about just getting back to spaces.. where natural intuition and relationship can take us wherever we need/want to go

9 min – relationship matters not only because makes children easier to work with

ugh to that – this tone frustrating while re reading hold on to kids

relationship matters because it is place maturation happens.. like the unborn fetus.. the relationship creates a psychological womb in which a maturation will occur

when we step up to be the answer to the relational needs.. their hunger to be with.. to be invited.. to be known.. nature can get on with the job of growing our children up.. becoming their own person

(even rather.. step out of the way.. while still being .. there)

invited to exist

my youngest son when 5: mommy .. when you hold me like that it makes me want to fly

10 min – it seems the details of parenting/teaching have eclipsed the role of nature in all of this.. it is nature’s job to grow our children up

squelched the emergence/spontaneity.. in thinking we have to teach/parent.. ie: control

holmgren indigenous law

but not really a job..

our job is to provide the relational womb.. none of us can make growth happen.. in ourselves or our children

what are the implications for school in all of this.. what must we remember amidst the explosion of detail.. for starters.. one thing we seem to be losing sight of is the very important development of school readiness

really…? wow.. dang..

11 min – what children need to bring to school is a sense of curiosity about their world.. agency..

which they fully (if healthy) have at age 5.. till they get to school..

they attributes are not genetic.. they can’t be taught.. they are fruits of maturation which are outcomes of fulfilling relationship

and they are all we need in world today.. ie: cure ios city

1 yr to be 5.. let’s go back there.. let’s let daily curiosity be our only detail/label

school readiness is a function of how much maturation has taken place at home

school readiness is like saying.. alcohol readiness.. do we really want to keep going there? ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work

we have never been so advanced in terms of curriculum/pedagogy/tech/trained-teachers.. and yet teaching is getting harder

you said yourself in first few lines.. doing it for 1000s of years.. but wrong

perhaps teaching is the problem..

12 min – children learn more in first 4 yrs of informal ed than all rest of ed put together

so.. perhaps ed is the problem..

and children who are taught at home do better academically than children who are taught at school

we need to let go of thinking we have to be teaching people

only one way to explain this – relationship matters

and ‘teaching’ – gets in the way of that.. it compromises our listening and assumes a (no matter how kind) supposed to ness.. it assumes the other person is lacking something we need to give it..

13 min – teachers wouldn’t be having so much difficulty if teachable children were being delivered to their doors.. and by teach able i mean ready and able to learn from those that they are not attached to


16 min – could this be the secret of the master teacher – that we have to have their hearts before we can get to their minds



nov 2018 – The Keys to Well-Being – 42 min


2 min – how do we know if a child is doing well.. i don’t mean just in terms of marks


if we’re marking them.. rest assured.. they’re not flourishing..

3 min – what are conditions for children to flourish..

4 min – development is spontaneous.. the realization of our potential.. is something that just happens.. it’s not something we teach.. it’s spontaneous but it isn’t inevitable..

fromm spontaneous law

how to tell if mature:

1\ separate being: viability as a separate being- able to think for self

2\ adaptive being: adaptability to circumstances

3\ social being: sociability – capable of being ourselves while together w others

7 min – this is not a function of intelligence .. could have 3 phd’s from top schools in world and still not show true maturation

11 min – you can’t teach these things.. but if child has these.. you could use almost any pedagogy and any teacher.. but if child doesn’t demo these fruits..

13 min – more and more students are showing up w/o these attributes.. if they bring this to school they make us/system look good

quit asking them to show up.. quit trying to look good


14 min – i’m concerned that less and less of our children are coming to school this way and that is making teaching harder rather than easier.. despite all our advances in curriculum/training/pedagogy

so disappointing..

15 min – so what needs to happen at home..  1\ rest and relief from work of attachment .. that attachment is similar to survival.. absolute need..  2\ ability to feel tender emotion  3\ sufficient freedom and space for true play

23 min – as long as there’s an end of the day.. from wounded environ.. to get your feelings back

and his ie was teaching.. that’s no way to live.. we should be questioning things that take up our day in a wounding way.. not figuring out how to cope with it

found in rereading hold on to kids – a very frustrating read


oct 2018 – Preparing for Motherhood: You’re More Equipped Than You Think – 1 hr



find/follow Gordon:

neufeld institute: https://neufeldinstitute.org/

wikipedia small

Gordon Neufeld (1946) is a developmental psychologist and author of the book Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers (co-authored with Canadian physician Gabor Maté) that has been translated into 10 languages. The Neufeld approach (his attachment-based developmental model) is based on the attachment theory formulated by John Bowlby. He developed a theory of attachment that includes six stages in the development of the capacity for relationship, the construct of polarization that explains both shyness and defensive detachment. His model of attachment is universal in both its application (adults as well as children) and implementation (school as well as home).

Neufeld also is the founder of the Neufeld Institute based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Institute provides education and training for parents and professionals through personalized study programs as well as through presentations, seminars and courses, including video courses.

? i thought we needed to quit training..?

Neufeld Faculty and education programs exist currently in a number of languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Hebrew, Swedish and Russia