Conversations with Neufeld Aotearoa

On Play

As parents we often ask, “What can I do to get my child to behave?” but do we ask, “What does my child need to reach their full potential?” Gordon Neufeld discusses the four “irreducible needs” of a child in his keynote presentation from the 2021 Neufeld Institute Conference on emotional health and wellbeing. In this “Conversations” event we focus on the last of these: Play! Alongside Dr Neufeld's address this presentation offers some home-grown creative practical suggestions on how to get your kids back into the play mode.

This Conversations event is hosted by Adrienne Wood (NZ Regional Director) and Sandy Hitchens (NZ Course Facilitator).

Play and Emotional Health

Is play just a pointless distraction from the real work of life? Or is it intrinsic to our very emotional health and wellbeing? When things aren’t working out with our kids, play is often the first thing to disappear. In fact, when things aren’t working out in our own lives, playfulness generally goes missing for us as well. How can we harness the power of play to nurture wellbeing in both ourselves and our children’s lives?

Neufeld Institute Faculty, Tamara Strijack, unpacks Play further in this Conversations event. It is hosted by NZ Regional Director, Adrienne Wood and NZ Facilitator Rosie Griffiths.

Wired to Connect

Is your teen’s “digital diet” nourishing their minds or is it more like junk food to the brain? Whether you like them or hate them, it seems screens are here to stay. Hear Neufeld Faculty Heather Ferguson shed light on what drives teens to their screens and what is needed to ensure they remain balanced and emotionally “nourished” in this digital age.

This Conversations event is hosted by Adrienne Wood (NZ Regional Director) and Rosie Griffiths (NZ Course Facilitator).

Emotional Health and the Brain

How is the brain affected by our emotional health? Join Neufeld Aotearoa Facilitators as we discuss important aspects of emotional health for our children and how we can best support them. This conversation is relevant for parents as well as professionals working with children (it is especially relevant for teachers).

This Neufeld Aotearoa Conversations event features senior Neufeld Institute Faculty Eva de Gosztonyi and is hosted by Sandy Hitchens (Faculty Intern) and Ruth McConnell (Professional Associate).

The Story of Frustration

We all get frustrated when something doesn’t work for us. Helping our children handle frustration is a critical challenge to helping them grow up. Unfortunately, frustration can turn ugly on a dime. A small frustration can turn into a chaotic emotional tsunami that can wreak havoc. Making sense of frustration holds the key to breaking the cycle of aggression in children and teens.

Gordon Neufeld tells the story of frustration in this 20 minute presentation, hosted by Neufeld Aotearoa team members, Sandy Hitchens and Rosie Griffiths.

Healing in Times of Crisis

Crises can trigger overwhelm and anxiety in both ourselves and our kids. What is the key to healing from unsettling events in our country, our region, or our personal lives? When we understand how to find our own way through in the wake of crises, we can then take our children by the hand and walk them through the many challenges they face in uncertain times.

This Conversations event is hosted by Adrienne Wood and Ruth Lawson-McConnell. We will watch and discuss a presentation by Neufeld Institute Faculty Denise Findlay and Marla Kolomaya. In it, they share the beauty of their indigenous heritage to preserve balance, harmony and relationship in times of crisis. In this poignant presentation, they combine the wisdom of their Squamish Nation roots with the insight of their training with Dr Neufeld.

The Heart of Discipline

Discipline is one of those topics that there are sooo many opinions about and we have so many behavioural strategies suggested to us - yet sometimes we are still left with questions. Are we perhaps making things worse with some of our discipline practices? Maybe these practices or strategies just don't work - or maybe they just don't sit right with us on an intuitive level.

This Conversations event is hosted by Sandy Hitchens and Adrienne Wood. We will watch and discuss a presentation by Dr Gordon Neufeld taken from his Discipline course available through the Neufeld Institute campus.

The Wisdom of Dependence

Is self-care the ultimate answer to personal pain? Or is there a place for leaning into the care and support of those around us?

So many of us are allergic to idea of allowing dependence in our children, let alone in ourselves in adulthood. We don’t wear it well. It doesn’t match up to our fierce drive to manage all things by ourselves. It can make it difficult for those who wish to take care of us in our hard times and it also makes it difficult for us to receive care from others.

This Conversations event is hosted by Adrienne Wood and Rosie Griffiths. This presentation is the fourth in a four-part series on “The Wisdom of Dependence”, the first three of which were presented at the Neufeld Aotearoa Conference 2023.

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