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How does Connected Parenting work?

Borrowing from therapy techniques, the Connected Parenting method empowers parents to use mirroring and empathy to attune to their child or teen’s feelings. This helps to set limits, shift negative behaviours and avoid ugly power struggles.

What makes it different from other parenting methods?

Many parenting methods teach how important it is to listen to your children and to be empathic. But what is often not taught is how to be empathic and how to move beyond empathy to correct difficult or unacceptable behaviors. The whole point of Connected Parenting is to empathize not only so that your child will feel safe and understood, but also so that you, the parent, will be better able to guide his or her behavior.

Many of us think we already know how to be empathic, but, as easy as it sounds, being empathic and listening well are very difficult skills, requiring practice, patience, thoughtfulness, and a non-defensive stance. This is extremely difficult to maintain when you are hurt or angry. In addition, empathy, in and of itself, isn’t enough. We also need to know what to do next. Once we’ve empathized with a child’s anger, frustration, or anxiety, how do we go on to make him understand that the coping behaviors he or she is using are not acceptable and will not serve him well? In short, how do we get him to change?

Connected Parenting will take you that crucial extra step and provide you with a blueprint for creating positive change.

What types of children does Connected Parenting work for?

Connected Parenting offers a loving and effective way to parent all children and teenagers. For those children and teens with more extreme emotional or behavioural challenges, these techniques are even more important as they help lower anxiety, promote better impulse control and improve self-esteem. Connected Parenting strengthens children from the inside out so they can better manage whatever comes their way.

Where can I learn more about Connected Parenting?

For more information about Connected Parenting, check out our blog or, for a detailed description of the Connected Parenting program, buy the book.

"Connected Parenting advises us not just how to parent, but—far more important—who to be as parents. The therapeutic methods suggested by Jennifer Kolari are based not on simple-minded behavioural solutions, but on building warm, nurturing relationships with our children, with insight and compassion not only for their little flaws, but also for our own larger ones."
—Gabor Maté, M.D.

"A must read for parents, educators, and any other adults who want to connect in a deeply caring and positive way with the children in their lives."
—Barbara Coloroso