Connection Parenting: An Interview With Pam Leo
Pam Leo is an independent scholar in human development, a parent educator, a certified childbirth educator, a doula, a parent, and a grandparent. She is the author of the classic book Connection Parenting and the founder of the nonprofit initiative, the Book Fairy Pantry Project. Pam is a board member of Kindred World and a contributing editor to Kindred.
The level of cooperation parents get from their children is usually equal to the level of connection children feel with their parents. Connection Parenting is based on the Meeting the Needs of Children 7-week proactive parenting series that Pam Leo has taught for nearly 20 years. The premise is that meeting children’s biological need for emotional connection creates the healthy, strong parent-child bond children need to thrive and that bond is also the key to effective parenting.
You can read Pam’s work on Kindred here: kindredmedia.org/author/pam-leo/
You can follow Pam’s nonprofit initiative, the Book Fairy Pantry Project, here: www.bookfairypantryproject.org
“After my first child was born in 1972, it became my passion to understand human behavior. I began to study child development, psychology, sociology, and anthropology. I wanted to learn why we are each born as a tiny innocent being, and some of us grow up to be a Mahatma Gandhi while others become an Adolf Hitler. What determines the difference? I was determined to find out.”
“My journey has been and continues to be a wondrous one. While raising my two daughters, I supported us by being a family child care provider for children ages two to ten, fifty hours a week, fifty weeks a year, for twenty-two years. During that time I homeschooled my daughters and continued my own independent study of human development. In 1989 I developed the seven-session parenting series, “Meeting the Needs of Children” which I teach publicly and in the prison system with inmate parents.”
“The feedback I most often get from parents is, “I wish I’d had this information from the beginning.” In response to this feedback I created a prenatal parenting class. I became certified as a childbirth educator and as a doula as preparation to teach my new class. The “Bonding with Your Baby” class draws from the works of Joseph Chilton Pearce, Jean Liedloff, Ashley Montagu, and James Prescott. The class focuses on supporting expectant parents in creating the best possible foundation for a strong parent-child bond. ”
“If I had to put into one sentence all that I have learned about optimal human development and parenting it would be this: 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.”
“My passion to learn how to support optimal human development grew into a mission to share all I had learned. In addition to teaching my classes, I have been sharing this information through my “Empowered Parents” column in the Parent & Family paper here in Maine since 1994. When one of my articles was reprinted in the Empathic Parenting Journal I was invited to work with the group of people who have now become the Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children.”
“It’s been a dream come true to have the opportunity to work in person with many of the people who have unknowingly been my mentors. Our common bond is our passion for and dedication to working together to make this information available to all people who either raise children or impact the lives of children. ”
“I can think of no work more worthy of my time, energy, resources and love.”