Living with a Sensitive Child - single session

Approximately one in five children is affected and stirred up by their environment to a greater extent than most of their peers. According to Thomas Boyce at the University of California, these children are neurobiologically distinct and possess an enhanced receptivity to their environment.  They may complain of itchy tags in their clothes, loud sounds, bright lights, strong smells or tastes.  In short, their environment overwhelms them.  They are more likely to suffer from allergies.  Adults might see them as overly dramatic or reactive but they are only being true to their inner experience.

This session helps parents and teachers understand and support the sensitive child.  It is part of Common Challenges, Part III of Dr. Neufeld’s flagship course, Power to Parent.  Topics covered are:

  • What is meant by sensitivity
  • Why are some children more sensitive than others
  • Why are very sensitive children more challenging
  • Six ways parents and teachers can meet the challenge of raising a very sensitive child 


Leading the Alpha Child - single session

A growing number of children are becoming demanding, bossy and controlling. The root of the problem - the alpha dynamic - is scarcely recognized and yet is one of the most impactful factors in the child-parent relationship.  Egalitarian parenting approaches can, with the best of intentions, result in children who believe they are the ones in charge.  This not only makes parenting difficult but it can impact a child's development in the long term. 

This session introduces the issues surrounding the alpha dynamic.  It is part of Common Challenges, Part III of Dr. Neufeld’s flagship course, Power to Parent

Topics covered are:

  • Why is parenting an alpha child so challenging?
  • Why is it so important to get the lead?
  • Why do some children get stuck in the alpha mode
  • A dozen tips for taking a strong lead


Counterwill - How to Handle Children's Resistance      - single session

The counterwill impulse is an instinctive reaction that gives rise to resistance and oppositionality, It is especially common in young children and teens, and can be highly disruptive and troublesome, even when, in certain circumstances, it can be a sign of healthy development.

This basic human reaction is typically misunderstood, commonly misdiagnosed, and frequently leads to difficulties with teachers and parents. We can begin to reduce its impact once we understand it.

This session is part of The Vital Connection, Part I of
Dr. Neufeld’s flagship course, Power to Parent

Topics covered are:

  • the many faces of counterwill
  • the purpose of counterwill
  • how to counterwill-proof a relationship
  • defusing  and reducing counterwill


Making Sense of Counterwill -  4-week course

Although the counterwill impulse - that instinct that gives rise to resistance and oppositionality in children - is quite normal and even healthy in certain circumstances, its manifestations and impact can be highly disruptive. This basic human reaction is undoubtedly one of the most troublesome, misunderstood and misdiagnosed dynamics in childhood.

In this four-session course, Dr. Neufeld makes sense of this perplexing phenomenon, including the three dynamics that control its existence and expression, and then presents a three-pronged approach for prevention and intervention. 

Topics include:

  • the many faces of counterwill
  • the meaning of counterwill
  • how to differentiate between counterwill that is healthy and counterwill that is a sign of something amiss
  • a three-pronged approach to dealing with counterwill
  • why praise and reward can backfire in some children
  • why counterwill is normal in toddlers and preschoolers
  • why the educational system provokes counterwill in our children
  • why pervasive counterwill is a sign of attachment problems
  • how children usually grow out of counterwill
  • why chronic counterwill is a sign of psychological immaturity
  • the importance of not taking counterwill personally
  • how to prevent and defuse counterwill in children
  • how to safeguard one`s relationship against the fallout from counterwill
  • how to avoid a battle of counterwill`s
  • how to differentiate between a child with a strong will and one with a strong counterwill
  • how to help children grow out of counterwill


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Handling Aggression - single session

Aggression is one of the oldest and most perplexing of all human problems. Displays of attacking energy are common in young children, who often grow out of the more physical modes of attacking by the time they reach school age, but this is not always the case. Some children need more support from adults in finding their way to maturity, and this can be true even when the attacks are not physical.

The key for parents and teachers in handling aggression is to understand the origins of the dynamic. This allows us to help a child towards alternate outcomes while avoiding the pitfall of letting the aggression break our connection with the child.

This session is part of The Vital Connection, Part I of Dr. Neufeld’s flagship course, Power to Parent

Topics covered are:

  • what moves a child to attack
  • what can keep a child from attacking
  • why do some children get stuck in aggression?
  • how to keep a child's aggression from disrupting the connection


Alpha Children -  4-week course

A growing number of children and youth are presenting as demanding, prescriptive, bossy and controlling. The root of the problem - the alpha dynamic - is one of the least known and yet most impactful factors in attachment.  Once the dynamic is fleshed out, it becomes self-evident and one wonders why it has been so hidden. An understanding of the alpha dynamic also corrects the mistakes that we have taken in moving to more child-led and egalitarian parenting styles in our society. While the focus is on children, the revelations and challenges are for us as adults. Dr. Neufeld unpacks this best-kept secret of attachment dynamics in four sessions, uncovering a phenomenon even bigger than peer orientation - that our children are becoming more alpha. 

Alpha children are not only more challenging to parent but also predisposed to a number of problems including anxiety, aggression, oppositionality and eating problems. The plethora of advice-giving and strategies that are offered for these behaviours only tend to make matters worse when the underlying problem is an alpha complex.

In this course, Dr. Neufeld uncovers the roots of the alpha problem, and in so doing, opens the doors for lasting change: in the family, in the classroom and in society.

The course is divided into four sessions, each containing one hour of instructional video.

Session 1 - Making Sense of Alpha

Alpha instincts only make sense in the context of attachment and in particular, the hierarchical nature of attachment. Unfortunately this politically incorrect scientific truth has been camouflaged by our love affair with ‘independence’ and ‘equality’. This session reveals how the alpha instincts were meant to sensitize us to the needs of others as well as move us to assume responsibility and to care for our offspring. The construct of an alpha complex is introduced.

Session 2 - The Many Faces of Alpha

There are at least five significantly different manifestations of the alpha complex, depending primarily on the person’s flight from vulnerability and perceptions of responsibility. The manifestations vary from the garden-variety bossiness all the way to the bully syndrome, and include the rescuer/helper syndrome, competitiveness and the demanding personality.

Session 3 - The Causes and Consequences of an Alpha Complex

The two main causes of an alpha complex are the failure to encounter a strong caring alpha presence and the failure to feel safe enough to depend. Various conditions and situations leading to these failures are discussed. The problems stemming from an alpha complex are myriad and include frustration problems, eating problems, alarm problems, and compliance problems.

Session 4 - Taming an Alpha Complex

Taming an alpha complex involves reversing the conditions that give rise to it. In addition, ten guidelines are given for reclaiming our rightful place in our children’s lives.


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