He was just recently in Mexico City. Now Dr. Gordon Neufeld is on his way to Moose Jaw.
The Vancouver-based developmental child psychologist has over 40 years of experience with children, youth and those responsible for them, and he will be in our city early next week – Oct. 28 and Oct. 29.
Dr. Neufeld will be giving a talk on “Understanding Your Preschooler” on Monday evening at the Moose Jaw Public Library. There is no cost to attend the seminar, which is being put on by the Moose Jaw & District Family Education Committee and taking place from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
It’s an opportunity for parents and professionals to learn about kids from the inside out.
“The evening presentation on Monday is basically to make sense of young people and children – preschoolers.
“We often think they are just miniature adults and that they are somewhat like us because they look like us – a lot more so than babies or toddlers,” Dr. Neufeld stated. “That's the big mistake because developmentally they are fundamentally different than us and we trip all over what we don't understand.”
He noted that the basic key is first of all to understand that kids are not truly like adults. After all, they “only operate out of one hemisphere in the brain.”
“There are certain kinds of developmental dynamics or developmental deficits that are meant to be there – it's not that something is wrong with them,” Dr. Neufeld said.
On Tuesday, he will be speaking at the Heritage Inn. The seminar will focus on “Making Sense of Play” and will last throughout the day. The cost to attend the seminar is over $100, but Dr. Neufeld will bring light to an important aspect of early childhood development that he says has been neglected.
“All mammals play and for a very important reason – it's a forward edge of development,” he noted. “True play is an endangered activity in our children today, especially with the screens and instruction and all the things that are taking away their absolute need for this activity.”
According to Dr. Neufeld, people attending the Tuesday seminar will learn to understand what play is, as well as what activities aren’t deemed play.
He added that it’s important to foster a respect for nature and development.
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks.