Testimonials from the Professional Community


Jennifer Kolari provides us with a clear-minded view of how to create and continue an open, attuned relationship with our children while they move through important and at times tumultuous transition from childhood to adulthood called adolescence.  You’re Ruining My Life!” (But Not Really): Surviving the Teenage Years with Connected Parenting is an accessible and often entertaining guide to understanding the importance of communication in the parent-child relationship and how changes in the teen’s brain can make loving, supportive connection difficult to maintain.  Filled with practical steps and memorable stories, the insights of Kolari’s important book will help the busy parent both survive and thrive through these crucial and challenging times.

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.
Co-Author, The Whole-Brain Child and Parenting from the Inside Out; Author, Mindsight and The Developing Mind , Executive Director, Mindsight Institute Clinical Professor, UCLA School of Medicine

I just wanted to express my thanks for the wonderful talk you gave last night at Leo Baeck.  I spend a lot of time thinking and worrying about the difficult environments that our children are growing up in today and it was so comforting to hear my concerns echoed in your words.  You are so dynamic, engaging and you presented your information in a relatable, clear and “easy to action” way that I felt very empowered when I left.  By the way, I’m the Mom that had the Snapchat example.  Thanks again.  I hope to be able to hear you speak on other topics in the future.

Leo Baeck
Day School, North Campus

It has been about a month since Jennifer spoke at our school, St. Andrews PS and I am still receiving compliments and positive feedback from parent, I want to make sure Jennifer is aware of the impact she has on parents.  The passion Jennifer has for ‘connecting’ children with their parents in a simple way of communicating is astounding.”

Thank you Jennifer, for taking the time to share a different perspective on how we can relate to our kids.

St. Andrews Public School

Trish and I are witnessing a lot of awareness in our staff about empathy first, then problem solve. It’s been a great skill to marry with our collaborative problem solving approach. Staff have come to me directly and have said: “I mirrored! and it really worked! It’s amazing how easy and affective it is.” My perspective is that it is a very important skill that is part of the whole Towhee approach, that we have never been fully successful in teaching. (Though, a lot of us already do it.) Jennifer is just incredibly talented at teaching it.

Camp Towhee

Our camp staff immediately came up to the director/owners of the camp to thank us for having her come to speak. They said she was one of the best speakers we have ever had because the material she gave was so useful and practical. We can’t wait to have Jennifer come back next year.

Camp Manitou

The Connected Parenting workshop was so well received by the parents at Kleinburg Public School. Jennifer was funny and engaging and the examples she used really resonated with the audience. By the end of the evening parents gathered around to speak to one another about how we were going to put the Connected Parenting principles to work in our own lives. Jennifer was very inspiring…we believe that this method of parenting will make a difference in the way we raise our children.

Kleinburg Public School

We had Jennifer Kolari come to Whitestone Lake Central School to speak to parents in an evening program about “Connected Parenting”. We really did not know what to expect and had allotted two hours. Jennifer is a very engaging speaker with a very good sense of humour and a wealth of knowledge about brain development and child behaviour. Her presentation was extremely interesting and everyone would have listened for another hour! It was an extremely worthwhile evening. Many parents have since used some of the “Connected Parenting” strategies and are asking when Jennifer will be back for more!

Whitestone Lake Central School

Our staff and parent communities truly enjoyed listening to Jennifer Kolari’s insights into communicating with children. She is a natural storyteller, who uses humour to help her audience understand that while parenting is not always an easy road, there are things we can do to help make it just a little less bumpy! Her wealth of both practical and theoretical knowledge make her a very valuable resource.

The Mabin School

The Connected Parenting book is going to be a required reading in any subsequent courses I teach on child and adolescent psychotherapy.

Dr. Alisa Kenny Bridgman
C. Psych. Child and Adolescent Psychologist

In my 25 years of family medicine, I have encountered but a handful of superlative child therapists; Jennifer Kolari is one of these gifted people. Overall, my patients’ feedback has convinced me that the Connected Parenting approach is effective in promoting healthier family relationships.

Dr. Pauline Pariser
Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto

Jennifer Kolar’s skillful interventions using her highly effective technique of enhancing communication between children and their parents has been an invaluable asset for many years. Connected Parenting has filled a very important gap in traditional approaches to helping parents raise their children and has focused on new techniques that enhance the reciprocal nurturing of the child and the parents.

Dr. Till Davy
M.D. F.C.F.P. Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto

Thank you for your wonderful talk on be half of The Junior Academy. All participants have given us positive feedback and are eager to use some of the strategies. We use many of Jennifer’s ideas at the school already and feel reassured by her guidance.”
Kristine Locklin

“Today was amazing I cannot tell you how much I and all the other parents and staff enjoyed hearing Jennifer speak. I think we could have listened to her all day! She had so many valuable things to say and she was just so down-to-earth and entertaining that I think everyone can relate to what she was saying in some way or another.”

“A tremendous evening! I thoroughly enjoyed it; it was worth missing Grey’s Anatomy for. Anyone I have spoken to thought the presentation was funny, entertaining and gave great parental advice. I could have listened for another two hours.

Parent at Alexander Mackenzie High School

You’re Ruining My Life! provides impressive guidance for parents of challenging children. With great kindness and compassion and wonderful clarity she helps parents to organize their responses and reconnect to their teens in ways that that will give them renewed hope.

Howard Glasser
author of Transforming the Difficult Child

Connected parenting works! This is more than a book on parenting, it is a blueprint for understanding healthy communication for all relationships! These techniques have become a way of life for our family and have helped me both professionally and as a parent. It will change your life for the better!

Dr.Sue Ball
Ph.D., C. Psych.

I will never forget the telephone conversation when Jennifer Kolari told me with great excitement that she had discovered—to her surprise! —that her technique of Connected Parenting worked, not just for young children for whom she had originally developed it, but that it was extraordinarily successful for teenagers as well.

The result of this discovery is You’re Ruining my Life!, an indispensable guide for parents who may need more than intuition to help their teenagers thrive in an often challenging phase of development.

Dr. Till Davy
Honorary Consultant, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

Kolari helps parents understand complicated teen brain chemistry and offers practical parenting advice that is respectful and effective

Alyson Schafer
author of Honey I Wrecked the Kids

Have a teenager? Then I highly recommend this book. Jennifer Kolari’s CALM techniques to connect with your teen are not only simple but based on cutting-edge research

Michele Borba
Ed.D., author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions

I began reading Connected Parenting on my flight to Vancouver Island to bid a final farewell to a dear friend who was suddenly diagnosed with a rapidly advancing terminal cancer. My attention was admittedly divided between the words on the page and my apprehension of how I was going to handle myself with her and her loved ones. I arrived a few hours too late; my friend had passed away. The next few days I spent with the family were much less difficult than I had anticipated. In retrospect, I realized why. The teachings in Jennifer’s book – deep listening, validation, the CALM technique – became wisdom and transformative in their impact, as I engaged in ‘very connected conversations’ that honoured relationships, empathy, and respect.

As the world turns and its movement becomes more frenzied, parents and teachers are the only two forces left who are entrusted with society’s greatest responsibility – to raise children into ethical, moral, and efficacious young adults. We need all the help we can get! Jennifer offers us the means to achieve the delicate balance between teaching and guiding our children while resisting the impulse to want to control them. She achieves this through a healthy sprinkle of success stories, well-researched foundation for brain-compatible approaches, and an abundance of common sense.

Dr. Pat Bucci
Educational Consultant

Jennifer Kolari has taken her exceptional gifts as a child therapist and made them accessible to a wider audience. More than any other parenting book I have read, Connected Parentingoffers parents a framework by which they can demonstrate and communicate a deep understanding of their child’s inner emotional life. Calming your child and in particular mirroring, are much more than mere techniques. These are the building blocks of loving, enduring relationships.

Pauline Pariser

Connected Parenting has changed how I interact with my son in such a positive way. More importantly, I see how mirroring is a lifelong tool that is essential in every relationship.

Sarah Stirtz
Registered Nurse, Salina, Kansas

Reading this book is like being in a private therapy session with Jennifer Kolari.  Real life scenarios are described. We are given the words to use when we face typical difficult parenting situations.  Staying calm and using the CALM technique truly makes a difference in the life of the child and the life of the family.  The mirroring method that is taught byConnected Parenting and is described in this book is very powerful and very effective.  Now parents can have unlimited access to the excellent Connected Parenting techniques described in this book.

Dr. Daphna Grossman

I have known Jennifer Kolari for several years and have sent a number of children and families to her for therapy. I have worked with a number of clinicians in several children’s mental health agencies and clinics and have found Jennifer’s style and techniques to be among the very best. She has been able to effect change in the most complex families, with children who have ‘been through the system’ and been exposed to a myriad of clinicians and treatment approaches, none of which proved effective for them.  With her approachable, warm, composed demeanor, and brilliant clinical skills, she has been able to connect with these parents and children, work closely with them, and make the family unit function again.  The skills and techniques highlighted in this book are going to prove effective for parents and professionals alike. The concepts are sound, theoretically based, and truly work. This book is going to be required reading in any subsequent courses I teach on child and adolescent psychotherapy.

Dr. Alisa Kenny Bridgman
C. Psych., Child and Adolescent Psychologist

As a practicing paediatrician, I have had the privilege of observing the success of Jennifer Kolari’s therapeutic techniques over many years. Now that these techniques are available in this book, I will be recommending Connected Parenting to every parent who brings their infant to my office.

Dr Till Davy
FRCP(c), FAAP, Honorary Consultant, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Associate Professor of Paediatrics, University of Toronto

All the secrets are revealed in Connected Parenting. These are the keys to unlock the barriers that exist between parents and children.  For parents, educators and Family Medicine residents, Jennifer Kolari’s first book should be required reading.  The tools are invaluable, but most importantly, they are effective and behavioural change will successfully occur.

Dr. Marvin Gelkopf
MD, CCF, FCFP, Assistant Professor

If you too agonize—Why can’t he just say ‘okay mommy’, this book is for you. An extra challenging child is a gift; Jennifer Kolari helps you learn how to cherish it.  Her empathetic ‘mirroring’ strategy works on the most wound up child—even on husbands! And now it’s in print, so we can’t forget the techniques. Jennifer Kolari helped steer us toward more effective parenting of the challenging child, so we could focus on the joyful gifts rather than the problems. If you need a reason to read it, turn to the back page—and Kolari’s poignant questions: What do I want my children to remember about their childhood? And, even scarier, What do I want my children to remember about me? Parenting doesn’t come with a textbook—Connected Parenting is close to it.

Susan Ormiston
Broadcaster, CBC, The National

Funny, warm, and fresh, Kolari’s Connected Parenting is, hands down, the most effective parenting system of our generation. This book will bring out the very best in your child. Put simply, this book changed my life

Tish Cohen
bestselling author of Inside Out Girl and Townhouse

Connected Parenting is the ultimate survival guide for families. Jennifer’s methods restore the trust, respect and affection that difficult behaviours can undermine, while helping to manage those same behaviours with original, fresh techniques. Parents will see how their relationships with their children can be repaired and strengthened in ways they may have thought were impossible.

Michael Kearns
Senior Producer, CBC News: Sunday/Sunday Night

With Connected Parenting, Jennifer Kolari provides a novel approach to parenting the challenging child. Her CALM approach (connect, affect, listen, mirror) is not necessarily instinctive for most parents. Instead of starting with advice on changing behavior, she begins with the more fundamental task of rebuilding frayed relationships and understanding the emotions behind the unwanted behaviors. Ms. Kolari uses mirroring, a therapy technique, as a strategic form of parental communication. The mirroring approach takes practice but accomplishes several important goals; it makes the child feel understood, diffuses emotions, and leads to opportunities for repair. Incorporated into the relationship with one’s child, the technique has long-lasting effects on the child’s behavior. Although Ms. Kolari directs her work toward the relationship with the challenging child, the lessons learned can be applied to all relationships. Connected Parenting is compelling reading for any parent who has been challenged by the relationship with his or her child.

John T. Kanegaye
MD, FAAP, FACEP Division of Emergency Medicine, Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine

Sometimes we try so hard to be the perfect parent, and put so much effort into it that we can’t get out of our own way.  Jennifer Kolari shows us ways to deal with our children that are so simple and yet so brilliant it’s like magic.  If you are a parent, know a parent, or are planning to become a parent, you need this book.  As a pediatrician for nearly 20 years and the mother of four children, I can honestly say I wish I’d had this book before my first child was born, it would have made life so much easier.  The techniques in this book can be effectively applied to a 2 year old or a 20 year old, and that’s the beauty of Connected Parenting.

Debra DeBiasse
M.D., FAAP, Salina Regional Health Center, Salina, Kansas

How you respond to your child is how your child learns to respond to you. Focus on control when the child is oppositional or upset, and power struggles are likely to ensue. Focus on empathy, however, as Jennifer Kolari advocates, and concern for the child will encourage cooperation from the child, enabling the possibility for constructive change.

Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D.
author of Stop the Screaming: How to Turn Angry Conflict with Your Child into Positive Communication

“Connected Parents” 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 behavioral solutions, but on building warm, nurturing relationship with our children, with insight and compassion not only for their little flaws, but also for our own larger ones.

Gabor Maté

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

Testimonials from Parents

“What can we say about Jennifer except we ALL love her?!! She has been instrumental in bringing our family back together and getting thru life’s hurdles. I would highly recommend her to anyone!”

“Jennifer has been a God-send. Her knowledge, experience, and intuition have been invaluable in helping our daughter through a very difficult time in her life. She has the ability to connect with our daughter to help guide her through this.”

“Jennifer Kolari has the extraordinary ability to understand the workings of the teen and preteen mind. When my daughter felt like no one else understood her, Jennifer did. Anyone who has the opportunity to benefit from Jennifer’s insight should count themselves extremely lucky.”

“Just when you think you’re the worst parent in the world bringing up hateful alien demons, the Connected Parenting techniques remind you that you are NOT-you’re raising children you love. I’ve learned how to truly put aside my own agenda and be in the moment with my child. Mistakes are accepted and even welcomed as an opportunity to repair.”

-Robin, Connected Parenting client

“We felt we had tried every parenting technique in the world and nothing seemed to make a difference in helping us and our son cope with the difficult behaviors he has because of ADHD. It felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Then we found Connected Parenting. These strategies were crucial to rebuilding the bonds of trust and respect that the challenging behaviors had eroded.”

-Michael, Connected Parenting client

Book Testimonials

My daughter Zara is 6 1/2 and was diagnosed with Asperger’s 3 years ago.  We have been struggling with a number of issues, including sensory sensitivities, meltdowns, and powers struggles over the smallest things. Zara has done a lot of therapy, and has made huge strides, ‎but still seemed to have so much anger inside, which she would mostly direct at me. She recently started therapy at The Listening Centre, where I happened on a copy of your book. I read it twice while she was in her sessions and have been practicing the CALM and baby play techniques for just under a week.

As I write this I have to stop because I keep crying. I finally feel like I have connected with Zara. We have had more peace and happiness in our house in the past few days than in the past few months.‎ Yesterday on a two-hour car ride she was on the verge of melting down over a sibling refusing to share a toy, and we even managed to calm our way out of that. That night at bedtime she said “Mummy can I talk to you?” and shared something that was bothering her at school. She hasn’t down that in the longest time. I did a lot of listening and mirroring before offering a solution and when I did she accepted it with a smile!

I am a problem solver by nature, and realize that before your book I was always minimizing her discomfort or trying to “fix” things, instead of just empathizing with her and letting her come to her own realization, with some gentle guidance. The result was that she dug in her heels and we ended up fighting, screaming, and angry.‎ All she wanted was to feel heard, and I just didn’t let myself hear her.

This has been the best Valentine’s Day ever. No fighting, no yelling, just a happy family day. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.‎

– Tasha

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