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Shelsy

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HAND IN HAND PARENTING
August 11, 2008

Hand In Hand Parenting (was Parents Leadership Institute) has been one of the most profound influences on my family and my career. I received the set of booklets as a baby shower gift - the best thing I ever received. The booklets describe a shift in thinking about children's behavior, especially crying and tantruming. Crying is a perfectly natural and 100% effective way a child can shed fears and heal insecurities - if they are listened to and accepted warmly and not rejected, shushed, or treated harshly for it. My daughters were just 8 months old when my husband and I went to a Play Morning with them. We were coached and supported through listening to the babies cry, while reassuring them they were safe and loved. It was tough! We are not the "cry it out" kind of parents! The difference is that the girls were supported through the shedding of their fears and emerged afterwards as very happy girls. Over the past six years, we have continued to implement the Hand In Hand tools (Staylistening, Playlistening, Setting Limits [this is NOT permissive parenting!], and Special Time. Our daughters are very expressive, able to work with their emotions rather than suppressing them, and genuinely happy people. I've changed careers to become an elementary school teacher. I look forward to using the respectful and empowering tools I've learned from Hand in Hand in my classroom this fall.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my family, especially my six year old daughters.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Patty Wipfler and her wonderful staff are accessible and down-to-earth. Their advice is never preachy, always practical and consistent.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

so kind and understanding you won't believe it! The folks at Hand in Hand are all parents who also struggle with making a strong connection with their kids when society makes it very, very difficult to keep everything in balance. They listen and offer practical, research backed actions that make a difference.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

lobby for societal changes that would support families. Right now, society treats parenting as little more than a hobby to be done in the parents' spare time (think of how everyone is encouraged to work long hours and loyally add value to the corporation at almost any cost). Connected families who genuinely support each other would impact every trouble spot in our collective lives. Alternatively, with 10 million bucks, Hand in Hand could offer their workshops free of charge to less privileged families and day care centers.

Ways to make it better...

I'd continued supporting MYSELF with the parent support group meetings. I have periods where I go regularly and I always do better managing everything when I go. Then periods come when I stop going and I really feel the difference. I need the group time to offload the feelings in ME about parenting and about how hard it can be. I'm going to join back up and go again, especially now that I'll be teaching young children in addition to parenting my two.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

MY ROLE:
Client Served & I received parenting support and hands-on instruction, listening time, and follow-up.