Speaker tackles Raising Children in a Digital World at Cowichan event

It’s a war zone out there and to feel the confidence that comes with safety, young people need to feel attached to their parents, says Dr. Gordon Neufeld, a Vancouver-based expert coming to speak in the Valley Wednesday, Feb. 11 at the Cowichan Theatre, starting at 7 p.m.

Raising Children in a Digital World is the title of the event, which will discuss how best to prepare children for an increasingly difficult daily life, according to Neufeld.

"We’ve taken a dreadful wrong turn in our society by creating conditions and by supporting peer attachments. Because now our children are becoming very, very stressedout," he said in explaining the difficulties young people face with digital media.

"It’s just increased the amount of wounding that goes on and so it’s even more important that we restore right relationships with our children. The main way of keeping safe is making sure ‘we matter most’, which is a function of attachment," Neufeld said.

"It’s actually very simple. The science of resilience has been able to uncover this key but that has huge implications for us because, for the most part, in our society children’s attachments to the adults responsible for them, their parents and teachers, is much weaker than they used to be. They are much more likely now to be attached to their peers and that’s where the problem is.

The more the peers matter, the more their friends matter the more capable of being hurt by their friends," Neufeld said.

Neufeld’s view gained many Cowichan supporters when Sunrise Waldorf School brought him to Chemainus last year and they’re bringing him back for another presentation this winter, this time in Duncan. An alarmingly increasing number of teenage suicides has legislators and parents floundering for solutions as they anxiously look over their shoulders at the looming presence of social media in every walk of life.

Admission for the evening lecture, question and answer session and book signing is $25 per person. Tickets are available online at cowichantheatre.ca or by calling the Cowichan Ticket Centre at 250-748-7529.