August 25, 2020
In partnership with our friends at Kohler
Gordon Neufeld is a developmental psychologist and the author of Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. In his forty-plus years studying child development, a few common threads have emerged. According to Neufeld, parents tend to be hyperfocused on socializing their children in order for them to be well liked and have plenty of friends. This good intention can cause children to become peer-attached—meaning they look to their peers instead of the adults in their lives for guidance, care, and stability. Having close peers is important, but the peer relationship shouldn’t be the most important one, says Neufeld. His work helps parents and caretakers maintain and strengthen relationships with their children, recognize when kids are pulling away, and reverse damage that’s already been done to the bond. His approach does not require us to do everything “right”—but it could shift the way we raise and relate to children for the better.