Leah and Niels
Leah and Niels

I’m Niels Teunis, Ph.D.

I’m an anthropologist and have worked on four different continents. I have observed and participated in family life in Europe, Africa, The Americas and Papua New Guinea. I have been children’s advocate, play mate, clown, comforter, advisor and friend. I’ve taught college students, made theatre, camped all over California, lived in 120˚ temperatures, and taught parenting classes. To some I am better known as Mr. Angela Jernigan. And I am Leah’s favorite punching bag. She’s my step-daughter.

I am a member of the National Association for the Education of Young People (NAEYC) and a member of the Children and Nature Network.

Most of all, I was that energetic boy. I played hard, fought with friends, climbed trees, got uncontrollably angry, laughed and cried. I was a serious kid, old for my age and always standing up for the younger ones. The outside was where I went when things got too much. It’s where I grounded, by the water, in the wind.

This is what I want for your son. Play for the sake of play, he doesn’t have to know it’s good for him. Nature to ground him and make him feel part of the world. Connection so he won’t have to feel lost and alone when life gets hard and friends get mean—or he gets mean to friends.

I’ll be on his side!

The main website for my work is here: Energetic Boys