About Hand in Hand Parenting


Our mission is to meet adults’ and children’s core need for connection with unique caregiving tools and community support made easily accessible to parents and professionals worldwide.


We’re building a world where …

All Parents

are well-supported to lead their families and deliver love and guidance to their children

All Educators

are well-supported to create connected, playful, and engaged learning communities.

All Healthcare Professionals

are well-supported to offer families useful, actionable information that improves outcomes in their lives.

All Children

grow naturally into leaders, become creative problem solvers, building thriving communities, and flourish.

Our Philosophy and Tools:

Hand in Hand is a non-profit that pioneered an evidence-based approach to help parents and professionals nurture emotional health and wellbeing for children, themselves, and each other. The approach introduces a paradigm-shifting theory of emotion, translated into 5 simple and concrete tools that can be flexibly integrated into existing family and classroom routines.

Hand in Hand offers a new and practical understanding of children's emotions and upset moments. Our evidence-based tools help ease the stress of handling challenging behaviors, including defiance, aggression & anxiety. 

Research shows that a solid adult-child connection builds children’s social, emotional and cognitive functioning and is their biggest defense children have against school drop outs, drugs, violence and other societal challenges. 

We make the art of connection concrete with five simple, healing tools. Read more about how Hand in Hand’s approach is a trauma-informed practice.

Outil d'écoute - Le Jeu-écoute

Play Listening

Promote your child's laughter to connect and release tension.

Stay Listening

Listen deeply with warmth and attention at the most challenging times.

Special Time

Put your child in charge for a short chunk of time, giving loving attention.

Interposer la limite

Setting Limits

Stop off-track behavior with love, warmth, and respect.

Outil d'écoute - Les Partenariats d''écoute

Listening Partnerships

Parenting is difficut. You do not need to do it alone.

Our Founder's Story

I’m Patty Wipfler, and in 1989, I founded the nonprofit Hand in Hand Parenting. My parents were buffeted by a cascade of crises that devastated two of my five siblings’ lives. I witnessed the damage parental stress can do. I grew up determined to change the world. I spent four years teaching, then organizing with United Farmworkers.

After my sons were born, stress mounted. I learned to listen and use a listener to escape the impulse to mistreat my children. I saw that parents doing listening exchanges became less reactive. I dove in to try to figure out how parents could listen to children, so they too could recover from hurt and harm. I have since spent tens of thousands of hours developing our approach and learning to articulate it while working with parents and children around the world. It has been hard work and the delight of my life.

Over time, I developed five “Listening Tools” which are in alignment with emerging research from many disciplines. The adult-child connection is the focus, as human connection is the foundation for emotional and cognitive functioning. We hold that people’s intelligence expands in the context of relationships that allow for play, emotional expression, attuned listening, co-regulation, and loving limits.


Our Values:

Listening with Respect

Our foundation is one of respect for all with a commitment to listen fully and learn from diverse viewpoints. We are committed to a new definition of respect for children through attentive listening, and strive to model this in all our relationships.

People First

We place personal compassion, warmth, trust, and collaboration at the heart of our work. We believe children and parents are innately good and have the capacity to solve problems and thrive. We value work-life balance and rest.

Big Goals

We set ambitious goals to foster lasting change in the lives of individual families and communities to transform our society. We continually identify important questions, experiment and listen to find answers, and evaluate and documents what we learn.

Growth Mindset

Honesty, openness, acceptance, and willingness to confront core issues are central to our daily work. We create safe spaces for introspection, vulnerability, questioning, and lasting learning.


We honor the rewarding and challenging work of parents, and the professional work of our colleagues and partners. Together, we will transform society.

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