The Vital Connection Parenting Course

Receive Notice of Upcoming Courses Here

General Information About this Course:

Parenting courses by Dr. Gordon Neufeld are based on the combined scientific contributions of leaders in relationships and child development for the past hundred+ years. These courses are suitable for parents, caregivers and professionals who have a role in caring for children. The intent of the material in The Vital Connection is to “restore parents to their natural intuition as well as their rightful place in their children’s lives.” The 3-part series (also including courses “Helping Children Grow Up” and “Common Challenges”) provides a complete approach to parenting, fully informing and educating parents so they become the true experts in the lives of their children, rather than offering “dumbed down” prescriptions and superficial strategies. Parents have become inundated with so-called experts on parenting, yet contrived power is NOT making the job easier or restoring parents as the role models, mentors, nurturers, sheilds and protectors in their children’s lives. The problem, Dr. Neufeld observes, is that parents are experiencing a loss of the natural power to parent. The context where parents naturally experience the power to parent is found, according to science, in the child’s relationship to the parent. When this relationship is restored, the child is receptive to being parented, and the parent is empowered to do the job of raising children to their full potential. The Vital Connection course focuses on restoring the parent-child relationship. Parents often make the mistake of taking their “power to parent” for granted.

There is little we can do with a child, however, that is not predisposed to attend to us, to look up to us, to depend upon us, to ask for help, to take the cues from us or to want to be good for us. These inclinations are not inherent in a child`s personality nor the result of skilled parenting. Rather, they are the fruit of a good working attachment to the parent. When this is the case, parents are rendered impotent and parenting becomes difficult, contrived and unnatural. Parental impotence is becoming a common affliction but rarely is it recognized for what it is. We are more likely to assume that we lack the necessary skill or that we have a difficult child…The only salvation for parenting that is truly natural and intuitive is to work at attachment and let attachment work for us.         Excerpt from Neufeld Institute course description.

The main focus of Neufeld Institute parent education is “to equip adults to raise children with attachment in mind and with true maturation the end result”. For more information on this, and other Neufeld Institute courses, see their website. To receive notice about upcoming dates for this and other courses with Michele, click here.

Details of the Vital Connections Course:

Orientation & Session 1

  • Orientation to the Online Resources of the Neufeld Virtual Campus
  • Discussion and in-depth look at what makes a child easy to parent, how the child’s attachment empowers us to parent, the trouble with parenting outside this attachment power, and the differences between natural power to parent and contrived force.

Session 2

  • Discussion and in-depth look at how the child-parent relationship is meant to develop, barriers to the child forming a deep relationship to a parent, causes of a child backing out of attachment and introduction to defensive detachment, why time-outs and the silent treatment can backfire, and how to address separation problems in children

Session 3

  • Discussion and in-depth look at how to create a context of connection, why we need to connect before we direct, why we need to back out of incidents and give priority to the relationship, and how to get an “Alpha” child to relinquish control

Session 4 

  • Discussion and in-depth look at competing attachments, the dark side of attachment, why attachment incompatibility is escalating, shyness, creating a village of attachment, defusing attachment incompatibility, and how to keep from being replaced

Session 5

  • Discussion and in-depth look at how to preserve or restore the ties that empower (how adults can assume responsibility for fulfilling a child’s attachment hunger, take responsibility for the relationship, use structure and ritual to cultivate connection and protect the relationship, refrain from using discipline that divides, soften a child’s heart in order to deepen the attachment and correct dominance problems, and reclaim a child if necessary)

Sessions 6 

  • Discussion and in-depth look at dealing with aggression without disrupting the connection (what moves a child to attack, the role of frustration, three alternative outcomes to frustration, three impediments to futility sinking in, how to keep a child’s aggression from disrupting the vital connection, and how to effectively address an aggression problem)

Session 7

  • Discussion and in-depth look at how to deal with resistance without sabotaging relationship (why some children are compelled to resist and oppose, how counterwill is mistaken for willfulness, 7 steps to “counterwill-proof” a relationship, defusing counterwill with 9 steps to reduce pressure and coercion, and reducing counterwill by harnessing the power of attachment.

Session 8

  • Discussion and in-depth look at attachment-safe discipline and 7 strategies for imposing order (maintaining the context of connection, imposing order through structure and ritual, aiming to change a mind instead of a behaviour, drawing out mixed feelings vs. demanding self-control, aiming for sadness when a child is up against futility, taking control of circumstances when unable to change the child, and scripting the actions of the immature to buy some time for the child to grow up)

Michele offers this course and others – sign up to receive notice of any upcoming workshops and courses.