"Connection parenting is parenting through connection instead of coercion, through love instead of fear."
The model of parenting most of us grew up with was authoritarian parenting, which is based on fear. Some of us may have grown up with permissive parenting, which is also based on fear. Authoritarian parenting is based on the child's fear of losing the parent's love. Permissive parenting is based on the parent's fear of losing the child's love. Connection parenting is based on love instead of fear.
Connection Parenting recognizes that securing and maintaining a healthy parent-child bond is our primary work as parents and the key to our children's optimal human development. Our effectiveness as parents is in direct proportion to the strength of the bond we have with our child. Connection Parenting promotes parenting practices that support a strong, healthy parent-child bond.
Both authoritarian parenting and permissive parenting are reactive. Connection parenting is proactive. Rather than focusing on ways to discipline children when their feelings of disconnection result in uncooperative or unacceptable behavior, Connection Parenting focuses on ways to maintain and increase the parent-child bond/connection.
Connection parenting is an ideal, a navigation star we can look to for guidance. Whenever we question how to respond to a child we can ask ourselves, will this response create a connection or a disconnection. We feel connected when we feel listened to and loved. We feel disconnected when we feel hurt and unheard.
Sometimes a child's behavior will push our buttons and we react rather than respond. As soon as we realize we have created a disconnect, we can reconnect by doing the following:
Even if we can't parent in the most nurturing ways all the time, the more often we can, the more our children get what they need, the better they will be able to weather the times when we parent in less nurturing ways.
Find videos, audio interviews, articles and online courses in the resource section!
"In any interaction with a child, will my words or actions strengthen or weaken our connection? - Pam Leo
Our effectiveness as parents is in direct proportion to the strength of the bond we have with our child. Securing and maintaining that bond is our primary work as parents and is the key to optimal human development.
Parents often tell me that they find parenting advice to be confusing and contradictory. They ask, "How do I tell the difference between 'good' parenting advice and 'bad' parenting advice? One expert or book says to do one thing and another tells me to do the exact opposite? How am I to know what is best for my child?"
My best answer to that question is the question I ask myself: "If I follow this advice, will I create a connection or a disconnection with my child?" When a parent's behavior creates a connection, the child feels that the parent is on his side, and their bond and connection is strengthened. When a parent's behavior creates a disconnection, the child feels that the parent is against him, and their bond and connection is weakened. Since parents' effectiveness is in direct proportion to the strength of the bond and connection they have with their child, any advice that undermines the strength of that bond is counterproductive.
"Over the years I have followed Pam Leo's laudable work as a teacher of parents and expectant parents. No other issue facing us today is so critical as this work of hers, on re-establishing parental bonding with our infants and children as nature intended. Indeed, our survival as a nation and as a species is dependent on this reconnection. And here is a concise, simple, eminently readable and instructive summary of the knowledge Pam has gained through these years of devoted service. I can't recommend this book highly enough and will surely promote it at every opportunity."
Joseph Chilton Pearce
Author of "Magical Child"
"Connection Parenting is the book we will all wish our parents had read when we were born, and had passed on to us when our children were born. For parents and grandparents who want the best for their children of any age, Connection Parenting contains the Sacred Grandmother Wisdom that will reconnect us with our children."
- Suzanne Arms
Founder of Birthing The Future
Author of The Immaculate Deception
"Among the hundreds of parenting books available today, Pam Leo's handbook, Connection Parenting, is like a breath of fresh air. Don't be deceived by its simplicity. She has captured the essence of good parenting with profound and compassionate advice."
- Aletha Solter, Ph.D.
Director of the Aware Parenting Institute
Author of The Aware Baby
Connection Parenting heralds the encouraging news that parenting really is evolving, and with it, humanity. Pam Leo gently, irresistibly, invites us to cross over from the habitual and unconscious coercion of our children, to conscious connection with them. Empowering, simple, and undeniably true, Connection Parenting will help to change the face of parenting, as we know it."
- Kelly Wendorf
Author, Flying Lead Change
Board Member, Kindred World
"Connection Parenting is utterly transformational. If all new (and seasoned) parents and grandparents read and applied its wisdom, the world would be transformed. Bravo!"
- Christiane Northrup, MD
Author of Mother- Daughter Wisdom
"Pam Leo dares to step outside the box to teach parents what it takes to truly connect with a child. Her "minimum daily requirements" of Connection are the vitamins of everyday parenting."
- Bonnie Harris
Author of When Your Kids Push Your Buttons
and What You Can Do About It
I am delighted with Pam Leo's book. It has a host of practical ideas anyone of us can use to enjoy our children or grandchildren.
- Diane Gossen
Author of It's All About WE;
Rethinking Discipline Using Restitution
"Our best hope for transforming the lives of children is Connection Parenting."
- John W. Travis, MD
Author of the Wellness Workbook
Cofounder, Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children (aTLC)
"Connection Parenting speaks to the very heart of what both children and parents need in order to thrive, rather than merely survive ... connection. Supporting parents in strengthening the parent-child bond is the responsibility of each and every one of us, and the prerequisite to the well-being of our world."
- Meryn Callander
President and Cofounder
Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children (aTLC)
"Many parents will wish Connection Parenting had been around from the beginning of their parenting experience, but this well-written, practical guide makes it clear that we can begin right now."
- Jane Sheppard
Executive Director of the Holistic Pediatric Association
Editor/ Publisher of Healthy Child Online
"Every child, every parent needs Connection Parenting. Pam Leo's brilliant work, "Connection Parenting" is on the top of our reading list."
- Ray Castellino, DC., RCST
Clinic Director: BEBA (Building and Enhancing Bonding and Attachment)
Director: Castellino Prenatal and Birth Training
Adjunct Faculty: Santa Barbara Graduate Institute
"The only solution to the unsustainable skyrocketing cost of medical care is prevention. The groundbreaking book, "Connection Parenting" powerfully and effectively addresses root causes of many ills in our society-- alienation, violence, substance abuse, depression and other mental illnesses. Pam Leo's clear vision of how to foster bonding and attachment at the beginning of life and how to sustain it through continuing connection with children offers practical assistance for families everywhere. "Connection Parenting" offers true hope for preventing the unsustainable skyrocketing cost of medical care in our society today."
- Kent W. Peterson, MD, FACPM, FACOEM
Former Executive Vice President
American College of Preventive Medicine
"Pam Leo's "Connection Parenting" is a breath of fresh air. It is sure to sweep away the cobwebs of confusion parents typically discover when looking for answers in the burgeoning landscape of parenting books and their often-conflicting philosophies.
"Grounded in field-tested experience for three decades, Pam's illuminating insights into the components of creating and preserving the sacred bond between parent and child picks up where basic attachment parenting and "Continuum Concept" recommendations end. This readable book offers practical, compassionate parenting tools that are sure to make it an instant classic. This is the parenting book I have been waiting for! Thank you Pam!"
- Lisa Reagan
Co-founder, Kindred World
Editor, Kindred Media
"I loved Connection Parenting because it gently encouraged me to connect with my kids in ways I hadn't quite heard before. Thanks Pam for sharing this wisdom in a powerful yet uncomplicated way."
- Tom Adams
Parent and Founder of
Kids Flourish Press and KidFlourish.com
"As a family physician I advised a lot of parents on issues around child raising. I took Pam's course, and have recommended it to countless patients over the years. The feedback was consistently positive. It's great she's making this information more accessible, I love the idea of book/parenting groups coming together to learn and practice Connection Parenting. This book will have an Oprah sticker on it before you know it!"
- Leigh D.Baker, D.O.
"I am so excited to have Pam's wonderful course in book form. I frequently quote some of the words of wisdom I've learned in her classes or from talking to her in person. The parents of the children in my Brain Gym practice and the students in my courses are very eager to learn from all Pam's years of experience and from her deep understanding and profound honoring of the uniqueness of each individual child. Now I won't need to relay "the message" and in the process lose some of the love and preciousness of Pam's words. I'll just keep a supply of her books in my office - the parents' "Bible," and encourage each family to buy a copy. "Connection Parenting" is the perfect baby present for every new parent. How gifted we are that the wonderful, knowledgeable, supportive essence of Pam Leo shine's through in her book. We are blessed that she is an amazing writer as well as an incredible human being. Hat's off!"
- Beth Stoddard, MBA
Licensed Edu-K Consultant and
Brain Gym® Instructor
"Pam Leo's "Connection Parenting" urges us to use what time we DO have to connect with our children, and to make an effort to create that special one-on-one time. Her poignant words offer a positive and proactive approach to working within today's limitations and pressures, without a load of guilt and blame placed on busy parents."
- Jen Noble
Parent & Family
"Pam Leo's Connection Parenting work has transformed our family interactions and continues to bring forth the best in all of us. Her work in its purest form creates a paradigm shift so profound that it not only alters one's perspective of children and childhood, but also gives us an opportunity to view the adults around us with deeper compassion and less judgment. Pam Leo has attained the level of Mastery of the Interpersonal Dynamic, giving a new generation of human beings hope for having a childhood from which they need not recover."
- Anne Archambault, CH
"Pam Leo taught her Connection Parenting series, "Meeting the Needs of Children" several times at our halfway house for women in early recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Some of the participants were women trying to regain custody of their children, some had grown children, and others were hoping to have a family in the future. Still others were 'former children' just interested in the class. Without exception, the women found that by learning about Connection Parenting they changed they way they saw their children, their parents, their families. Pam's gentle and compassionate exploration of the human developmental need for connection allowed many women here to greatly appreciate their own need for connection, as children, as adults, in addiction, and in recovery. She gave them a unique, non-judgmental language for understanding human relationships based on the natural and vital bonds between us all."
- Teresa Valliere, LCSW, CCS
Crossroads For Women, Inc.
Pam Leo's audiotape, "Healing the Feeling Child," is a great resource for parents and anyone who spends time with children. It explains many deep mysteries about childhood, such as why young children look around for their mom at the playground before bursting into tears. Children's strong feelings are confusing and painful for parents to watch, and often leave us feeling helpless. This tape and Pam's classes help parents know just what to do to encourage and nurture children.
Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D.
Author of "Playful Parenting"
Pam Leo offers a message of insight, understanding, and strong advocacy for children (and all human-beings) that should be heard by parents, those within the field of Early Education, and any adults that touch the lives of children and families. Pam offered her "Healing the Feeling Child" at our center where staff and parents both learned tools that I saw directly impact the ease of the drop-off transition and gave a common understanding that provides consistency between home and child care, therefore strengthening the parent/caregiver/child (family) relationship. I am thankful that there is such a wise voice for children being heard in our society.
- Stacie Robbins
YWCA Greater Portland
Child Care Services
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