When a child is acting out, parents often respond with anger. But there is a better way. Drawing on twenty years of experience as a child therapist, Jennifer Kolari explains that children act up when they feel an adult does not understand their concerns. The answer is parenting with empathy, which Kolari helps parents implement via her proven CALM technique:
match the Affect of the child
Listen to what your child is saying
Mirror their emotion back to show understanding
With this simple strategy, parents can connect with their child in any situation to reduce anxiety, de-escalate tantrums instantly and increase self-esteem. Insightful and empowering, Connected Parenting is filled with step-by-step advice and examples from families that have been transformed, often within weeks. It will bring out the best in you—and your child.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jennifer Kolari is a child and family therapist with twenty years’ experience of working with parents and children.