Never too late to reclaim attachment with children

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Never too late to reclaim attachment with children

This is a question I often get asked about.  A parent realizes that oh the problem lies in the relationship and what can be done and is it too late?  Does it have to be done at the beginning?  Are there critical periods?  The good news is, it's never too late.  That's the good news about relationships, is that it's never too late.  And when a relationship is there, and a good relationship is there, it serves a child forever, even when you've died, it still serves the child.  The most important thing to remember is, to get on with what it is that the relationship is about as the provider.  What you want to do is provide generously to the child, whether it's an adult child or a very young child, the invitation to exist in your presence.  And that's the bottom line.  And you have to step back from behavior, because often when the relationship is a problem, the behavior is all over the place and it's symptomatic.  You have to remember, I had to do this when I had to win back my oldest two girls, that the relationship was the bottom line. And that you needed to invite them to exist in your presence and I needed to get their eyes, their smiles, their nods. I needed to find my way back to this. Sometimes you need to arrange to get the competition out of their face. Their peers. Their friends. And go to a place where you are the answer for their company. You are the answer as their compass point for orientation. And that can jump start the relationship. You can arrange a scenario where there's nothing left to do but depend on you. That can jump start the relationship. But the most important thing to remember, is that they must see in your eyes, that invitation to exist in your presence. And you must remember that children are extremely hungry for this. And when they realize that you are what they are seeking for, most often, not always, but most often than not in my experience, the heart melts and the relationship is restored. And when the relationship is restored, it is so much easier to be the parent that they need.

Watch Gordon Neufeld, PhD's video on Never too late to reclaim attachment with children...


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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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