BOOK REVIEW: Connection Parenting by Pam Leo

Since our site deals with parenting from the teen’s perspective, I read “Connection Parenting” without aiming to see it from a parent’s eye. I read it as myself, a Hispanic eighteen year old who’s never even dealt with a pregnancy scare. I’ll admit that I had some reservations. “Parenting through Connection instead of Coercion” is a mantra that’s the exact opposite of most Hispanic households. However, with twenty two years of experience in childcare and over thirty years of studying branches such as child development, psychology and others, Pam Leo impressed me enough to keep an open mind.

Pam Leo wrote in her preface that she hoped that “Connection Parenting” would provide “not only information and inspiration” but also “validation and appreciation for the ‘connection’ parenting” that parents are already doing.

Pam Leo succeeded.

Even a teen like me notices the hectic rhythm in which parents stumble through their days. They are busy and struggle to balance work and home life. “Connection Parenting” is a conveniently thin book written with precision and clarity. The topics (like how to respect and listen to children) are straight-to-point and supported by everyday examples. I found myself nodding in understanding enough to need a massage at the end of the book. Even the busiest parent will be able to sneak a peek into this book during bumper-to-bumper traffic or in the couple of minutes of silence after the kids are asleep.

Something else that Pam Leo mentions in her preface is that Connection Parenting is “a workbook, not just a book to read.” This applies to any reader, even a daughter (non-mother) like me. The book encourages a parenting journal and offers reflective exercises. All of the exercises are vital to figuring out ways to improve the reader’s parenting style, however, it is the small reminders that I feel are the most important nuggets of information:

-It is important for the parents not to beat themselves up for their mistakes

-Our parents did (or are doing, in my case) what they could with the information they had available.

The book focuses on the children’s needs but does well to not forget about the needs of the tired working parents of today. It suggests different ways that parents may connect with themselves, be it through talking to a friend or keeping a journal.

All in all, this was incredibly informative and easy to read. I recommend it to every parent or person in close contact with children. This book isn’t just about how to raise a well-behaved child who won’t kick Jimmy for his toys or punch Sally in the playground; this book makes us aware of how society has, will and currently does affect the children in this world and our families.  Anybody remotely curious about their own childhood or the effects society has had on our families would benefit from Connection Parenting.


(Reviewed by Gema)

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