the tough job of parenting becomes easier when you connect

Patty and Martin Our focus is on working with parents and primary caregivers whose children are ages one month to six years, though our tools are effective for children of all ages. Our approach falls within the authoritative or democratic parenting category. We advocate for a combination of responsiveness and nurturing combined with high expectations for behavior, to form strong parent-child connections that last a lifetime.

When I first heard the Hand in Hand speaker and read the booklets,
I remember feeling so thankful that someone was acknowledging how
challenging parenting is, and how all parents need support to be the
best parents we can. I am so glad you are here. 2012 Parenting Survey

parenting by connection

We build our program around our Building Emotional Understanding class, which presents our Parenting by Connection approach. Parents receive a Parent Handbook and a set of our Listening to Children booklets: How Children’s Emotions Work, Special Time, Playlistening, Crying, Tantrums and Indignation, Setting Limits with Children, Healing Children’s Fears, Reaching for Your Angry Child, and Listening Partnerships for Parents. In over seven hours of videos, Patty Wipfler, the founder of Hand in Hand, explains and models our approach, giving real life examples of parent-child interactions to illustrate its power to change lives for the better. Parents are guided through the videos and course materials in short segments that allow them to fit the program into their busy lives. Videos are combined with either an in-person class or a teleconference once a week for 1.5 hours, where questions are answered and experiences are shared. This is the perfect time for parents to experience what a Listening Partnership is like and learn from one another.

no previous experience necessary

Our core class is complemented by three additional classes that focus on areas of particular interest to parents: No More HittingHelping Your Children Sleep, and Setting Limits and Building Cooperation. We will address additional parenting stressors in classes to be added this year and next. As parents learn more about using the tools and seek additional training and support, we offer them a year-long class, A Year of Connection—A Parenting Master Class. In addition, we have booklets on the topics of Supporting Adolescents and Leading a Parent Resource Group. And for professionals, we offer the eight-week Professionals Intensive Course in Parenting by Connection, designed for therapists, social workers, ministers, medical professionals, home visitors, and community outreach workers.

supporting parents is about more than a class

We offer parent-to-parent consultations, conference-call-based support groups, and on occasion free study groups led by our instructor trainees. In addition, we have booklets on Supporting Adolescents, Leading a Parent Resource Group, and an overview of Parenting by Connection. Hand in Hand teachers and trainers are available to give community talks, conduct training, and offer classes for your parent group, or grant-funded program. Click here for more information.

a broad range of options for learning and support

  • Classes (both self-guided and instructor supported) and booklets provide the basic knowledge, tools and support that parents need;
  • Free parenting calls, community talks, Podcasts, solution papers, and our blog provide opportunities for parents to obtain a deeper knowledge and appreciation for the Parenting by Connection tools and hear real life experience in using the tools;
  • One-on-one consulting, parent support groups, and our online discussion group allow parents to get the support they need to address particularly challenging issues and have their questions answered as new problems arise.
  • Listening Partnerships, which parents build within their own network or with partners they find through the discussion group, are parent-to-parent listening exchanges that provide the benefit of regular, personal listening with another caring parent.
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