The Surprising power of crying with Patty Wipfler


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Welcome to this really special episode. Patty Wipfler has been working with families and children for an incredible 46 years. You may not know her name, but you may have heard of her organisation called Hand in Hand Parenting. It’s a nonprofit international resource for parents.

Patty is on a mission to help parents by teaching an approach she calls parenting by connection. She also has a book out called Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges.

Hand in Hand is an incredible organisation and I would encourage you to look at their website. There are so many free resources and it’s all non-profit.

They have 135 instructors in 18 countries. She is currently working with Harvard on a research project to bring Hand in Hand tools to early childhood educators.

I love having guests like Patty on the podcast. She has an incredible perspective and this comes across in her tone, energy, wisdom and depth of expertise. When someone like Patty speaks, we want to listen.

We chat about:

  • Her moment of transformation
  • Her life’s work and mission
  • Crying and what it means if your child cries a lot
  • Why we as parents need to allow ourselves to cry more
  • What happens when we listen to our children’s emotions and when someone listens to ours
  • Hand and Hand parenting tools for an incredible connection and relationship with your children

What I take from this episode is that our children’s emotional release is an important and powerful thing that we do not want to shut down or worry about. She tells us that if your child cries a lot, as mine does, and releases a lot of emotion with you, that is an amazing sign of a close connection of safety.

When we feel safe with someone, we can release that emotion and that is what we need to do. Crying is life’s natural healer.

As always, we continue the conversation over on Instagram, so come and join us there.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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About Patty Wipfler

Patty Wipfler is the Founder and Program Director of Hand in Hand parenting. Patty writes, speaks, trains parent leaders, and develops resources for parents to help them lift difficulties from their children's lives and their own.

She directs the training of Parenting by Connection Instructors from all parts of the U.S. and abroad. Her focus is on building parents' emotional understanding and helping parents to build networks of mutual support that benefit their families and communities.

In 1989, she founded the non-profit Parents Leadership Institute, which evolved into Hand in Hand Parenting.

She is the author of Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges. Through Hand in Hand, Patty offers monthly free teleseminars in conjunction with leading parent educators, writers, activists, and bloggers. Her articles have been published in Mothering Magazine, the Bulletin of Zero to Three, and Child Welfare News. She has been a keynote speaker at Association for the Education of Young Children conventions in Chicago and Philadelphia, and she has done workshops and trainings throughout California, and in Oregon, New Mexico, Texas, and Massachusetts, as well as in Beijing, China.

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