Kids who are peer oriented vs. parent oriented

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Kids who are peer oriented vs. parent oriented

This is a very common problem, of kids not listening to their parents when their friends are around, their peers are around, and it's an early indication, actually, that a child is beginning to replace parents with peers. This is what I call, "peer orientation," and it's a growing and escalating phenomenon in our world today. It's so common, in fact, that we don't realize it's insidiousness. That it is actually what was never intended. Nature never intended it. When peers matter more than parents, when a child takes his cues from his peers for how to act, for how to be, for how to think, for what's important, and when a child starts orbiting around his peers, that's the problem. The symptom is they won't listen to us. But we only attend to the person that we're attached to and only when those attachment instincts are engaged. So this suggests not a behavioral problem but a relationship problem. So the wise parent will say, "Oh my goodness, I'm losing my child when they're with his peers. I need to do something about this to slow down the interaction, which we all need to do, to slow down the interaction. Not to court the competition, not to encourage it and to strengthen the relationship. And there's also another thing that's very important with attention. Even if your child has a good relationship with you, you've got to be able to collect the eyes, you've got to be able to collect the attention, you've got to engage them before you interact. It's very simple. It's the essence of a greeting ritual. You get their eyes, you get a smile, you get a nod. And you make sure you get all of those things and so you work for this. And then when you have it, you ask them to put away their clothes, you start interacting with them and ways to influence them and so on. Many parents simply operate out of their role. And they think, "Well, I can tell the child what to do simply because I'm Dad or Stepdad or Mom or whatever it is, or Teacher." That's not true. You have to actually collect before you direct. That little mantra can absolutely transform a home.
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Watch Video: Kids who are peer oriented vs. parent oriented by 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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