connection parenting…

Pam Leo’s book, Connection Parenting, begins a bit differently from many other books. Individuals new to the subject of gentle parenting or consensual living will be happy to read that parents are doing the best they can with the information, resources, and support they have at any given time. While you may feel regret about how you have parented in the past, there is no need to feel guilt about it.

Her focus on connecting with our children is an important message. When we aren’t connected with our children, we are disconnected with them, affecting our communication and interactions. In today’s rushed society, most children don’t receive a large quantity of time with parents. While they may receive some quality time, that is different than connection time.

The concepts in Connection Parenting are nothing new to those familiar with consensual living. While there are some nice reminders in the book, it probably has the greatest value for those just beginning their journey into this style of parenting. Much of the book focuses on the connection parents have with their young children. That is a very important aspect of our lives with young children and a foundation for the rest of our relationship with them, but I wish that more time had been devoted toward having a connection with older children. Older children may not rely on us for as many things as their younger counterparts, but their need for connection is no less.

between parent and child…

Before Alfie Kohn, Pam Leo, Naomi Aldort, or many of the other consensually living authors of our time, there was Dr. Haim GinottGinott revolutionized the parenting and psychology worlds with his new philosophy on communicating with children. His book, Between Parent and Child, was on the national best seller list for over a year when it was written in 1965. While the republished version, edited and ammended by his wife Dr. Alice Ginott, has been updated, it retains the same basic premise.

First and foremost, children need compassion and understanding from their parents. They need to hear that their feelings, wishes, and dreams are acknowledged by us and that those internal feelings are always acceptable, although the resulting behaviors may not be.  Guidance, not criticism, will help them to convey their thoughts and feelings in appropriate manners. As parents – the indviduals whom our children should be able to count on and trust more than anyone else, the words we use hold much more power and we should be cognizant of that when we speak with them. By modeling effective communication and giving our children the opportunities needed in order for them to develop their own responsibility, we will be helping them develop the skills they need.

If you are looking for one book to add to your home library this year, I would strongly recommend putting this one on your list of possibilities.