Top tips for developing independent kids

Dr. Gordon Neufeld, PhD, explains how to raise independent children based on years of research, and it might not be how you thought. Independence comes from fulfilled attachment needs, according to Neufeld and the attachment parenting theory.
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Top tips for developing independent kids

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It's natural to be concerned about independence because that's the ultimate agenda of development. That's what we need to remember. All the developmental processes are yearning to become viable as a human being. Our job is not to push independence, in fact, independence cannot be pushed. The more we push it, the more the child is alarmed and panicked and transfers their dependence to another. It's paradoxical. We need to be able to meet their dependency needs. The problem is, that from the 1960's and 70's, a myth became a part of the parenting literature, totally ignorant to the developmental process. This myth was never do anything for a child that they could or would do for themselves, because if you did it, you only reinforce their dependence and they wouldn't become their own individual persons. In actual fact, the opposite is true. The research shows that when we are generous about providing for their dependency needs, when we invite dependence, they are preoccupied with doing it themselves. It's all paradoxical. Our job, as parents, is to be able to fulfill their attachment needs, their need for love, closeness, belonging, significance. To be generous about meeting their needs of dependency, it's natures job, in the amygdala, the command system of the limbic system, and move them forward to become their own persons. We need not be concerned about this. If we do our job, nature will do its.

Dr. Gordon Neufeld, PhD, explains how to raise independent children based on years of research, and it might not be how you thought. Independence comes from fulfilled attachment needs, according to Neufeld and the attachment parenting theory.

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Gordon Neufeld, PhD

Psychologist & Author

Dr. Gordon Neufeld is a Vancouver-based developmental psychologist with over 40 years of experience with children and youth and those responsible for them. A foremost authority on child development, Dr. Neufeld is an international speaker, a bestselling author, Hold On to Your Kids and a leading interpreter of the developmental paradigm. Dr. Neufeld has a widespread reputation for making sense of complex problems and for opening doors for change. While formerly involved in university teaching and private practice, he now devotes his time to teaching and training others, including educators and helping professionals. His Neufeld Institute is now a worldwide organization devoted to applying developmental science to the task of raising children. Dr. Neufeld appears regularly on radio and television. He is a father of five and a grandfather of three.

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