Failure to launch

Learn about: Failure to launch from Gordon Neufeld, PhD,...
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Failure to launch

The failure to launch is a very common problem. Many parents are complaining of it. But the roots of it are more systemic in our culture. We don't understand how it is that we can play midwife to the individuation process. And there's a key to this, a key at whatever age the child is. Is that first of all, it's not meeting demands. It's meeting needs. And in meeting needs that we provide more than what is pursued. We always trump the needs that are there. If you think as simple as a hug, that the hug has to be bigger. If you think of I love you, it's not saying I love you back. It's seizing the lead. It's always trumping whatever it is the child is seeking for. If the provision is greater than the pursuit, than the seeking, if the child can experience it, that's when they relax. And if we were able to do this, this key in our society right from very, very young, find that generosity in ourselves, to be able to provide more than is pursued, see ourselves as the answer, even with our adolescents, and that is again their true needs for belonging and connection. Their true needs for significance, for emotional intimacy. If we were able to do this and meet it generously we would have much better luck at being able to play midwife for the individuation process of them being able to become their own persons and venturing forth into their world.

Learn about: Failure to launch from Gordon Neufeld, PhD,...


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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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