Events - Starter Class

Hand in Hand Parenting Starter Class

Join us for an amazing 6-week course, to learn the foundations of the Hand in Hand Parenting approach. You'll find out what drives your child's off-track behaviours (including aggression, sibling rivalry, tantrums, sharing, whining, separation anxiety, and many more), and how a deeper connection can get your child back on track. You'll also learn practical tools to deal with these difficult behaviours, whilst receiving personalised support, feedback and coaching.

This course is for you if you are:
  • Unsure how to handle aggressive or anxious behaviours
  • At a loss as to how to react to your child's tears or tantrums
  • Reacting to your child with shouting or frustration
  • Feeling isolated in your parenting
  • Looking for practical ideas to increase cooperation and happiness in your home
  • Struggling to find the joy in your parenting
You will learn how to:
  • Set warm, effective limits, which build cooperation and closeness
  • Get playful to improve cooperation and increase connection
  • Listen to your child when they are upset, so that they feel valued and connected
  • Get support for yourself in this hard work that is parenting, so you can develop a close, loving and relaxed relationship with your child
  • Change your automatic parenting responses that you wish you didn't have
  • Support your child to heal their fears and hurts
  • Increase your connection with your child
  • Reduce fighting with peers or siblings
  • Manage sleep issues
  • Handle aggression
  • Work on your feelings, about what's hard for you as a parent
  • Increase joy in your family, and enjoy parenting!
What you'll get:
  • 6 weeks of in-person, instructor-led, small-group parent support sessions (1.5-2 hours each, depending on the number of participants)
  • Email support between classes as needed
  • Access to an online classroom to support the in-person sessions - with a wealth of video, audio and written materials
  • The Starter Class manual, and the complete set of the Listening to Children Hand in Hand booklets (9 booklets)
Class details for in-person courses:

(for online courses, register on the Hand in Hand website)

Locality: Wokingham, Berkshire, UK

Cost: £230 per person. Class sizes are very limited to allow individual attention for each participant - register early to ensure your place! If your partner also wishes to attend a course (either the same course or when they attend a later one), they will be charged a reduced rate of £190.

Dates: See the Events page for details of up-coming courses. These usually run on a weekday evening, from 8-10pm.

Feel free to contact Emilie for more information, or you can book here if you are ready. You can also find Emilie here if you want to get to know her a little better.

Book now

"Learning about the parenting by connection approach has changed my family life for the better. Thank you Emilie for guiding us through the tools and supporting us all the way. You have joined in and shared your stories and struggles with us all and not just been the 'expert' which has made the group so much more accessible. I look forward to continuing my parenting journey with connection as the priority. Thank you!"
"Learning tools to aid connection with my children has been invaluable. Staylistening has enabled me to embrace big emotions and I'm no longer anxious about avoiding tantrums etc. Playlistening has reduced frustrations around everyday routines and generally made life more fun."
"I was extremely uncomfortable with how frustrated I was becoming with my child's behaviour and that I would sometimes squeeze his arms so hard in anger that he became visibly frightened. Through Listening Time, I explored these emotions and reactions and realised I was repeating history from my childhood. Knowing my Listening Partners believed in my ability to resolve issues myself once my mind was clear to think, I felt confident to address this and have started to recognise the main triggers. I no longer react physically when these emotions arise and I am grateful for the tools for providing me with alternatives; a toolbelt of ideas to try in different situations and a safe place to explore my thoughts."
"Finally parenting advice that comes with tools that sit right with my ethos of raising children - and they work!"
"What will I get from doing this course?"

By the end of the course, you will have a good understanding of why we see off-track behaviours from our children, and what we can do about them. You will be able to set limits warmly and effectively. You will have an invaluable toolkit to increase connection and cooperation. You will understand your own behaviours better, and have ways to develop as a parent. And you will be enjoying your parenting so much more!

"It seems like a lot of money - is it worth it?"

In a word: yes! The cost breaks down to less than £40 for each in-person, taught class, and there is so much more offered on top of that: written materials, excellent videos to support the class work, personal support to develop your family in the way you want to go, and more besides. When I did the Starter Class I was concerned about the money too, but it completely changed our family life - I'm just not sure where we'd be now without having done it!

"I just can't afford the course right now, but I'm really keen to do it - what can I do?"

I try to keep the courses and talks I offer at a reasonable price, but I know it can be hard to make this sort of investment all in one go (if at all). I am very happy to work out a payment plan with you so that you can pay in instalments if that helps - just contact me if you'd like to discuss this. If things are really tight for you right now, I am able to offer concessions as well - again, just email me to let me know and I will do everything I can to help. Or I also offer one-off talks or workshops, so you might like to give one of those a try as an alternative. Finally, there are tons of free resources on the Hand in Hand Parenting website: things like teleseminars (sign up to tune into an up-coming one, or there are pre-recorded ones too - just search for 'teleseminars' on the website, and you'll see a list of topics), video resources (search for 'videos' on the site), and stacks of useful articles and anecdotes. And there are great value, short online courses and podcasts if there's something specific you want to work on as well, as well as the booklet set, and other useful reading materials. You are also extremely welcome to join the Journeys in Parenting Facebook group, where you can ask any questions you have, and will receive plenty of understanding and warm support.

"What will be covered in the classes?"

During the in-person class time, we will discuss Hand in Hand Parenting's Listening Tools, and we will take time to examine how to apply them to your unique situation. There will be time to work through your own parenting challenges, and to ask any questions you may have. Outside of the class time, you will be able to follow up on what we have discussed, through the homework, reading and videos.

"What sorts of problems might it help me with?"

Parenting is very challenging and isolating work, often showing us lots of areas where we would like to make a change. The Starter Class will help you to make those changes wherever you feel they are needed. The first things that come to mind are those everyday challenges, like brushing teeth, getting out of the door, bath times, tidying up, sleep, picky eating, and so on and so on! And then there are the more general behaviours, like defiance, aggression, sibling rivalry, shouting, name calling, withdrawing, whining, and many many more. But the Starter Class also helps us with getting out of guilt mode, and feeling like a good parent again, along with supporting our development in many other areas of our lives, such as reducing isolation, improving communication, reducing stress, developing supportive relationships… It really is a life changer! If you're unsure if the Starter Class will help with your specific issues, I'd be more than happy to talk things over if you'd like to get in touch.

"Is the Hand in Hand Parenting approach right for me?"

Since becoming a parent, I have looked into and taken bits from many wonderful parenting approaches. What I love about Hand in Hand is that it: is very non-judgemental; meets people where they're at right now; assumes that everyone is doing the very best they can; really gets to the root cause of issues; gives practical tools; and supports parents themselves. The Hand in Hand Parenting approach benefits anyone, no matter where they are coming from, to find a more fulfilling, relaxed, and connected way of parenting. Feel free to have a read of some of these articles, or search the Hand in Hand website for a particular topic, and see what you think:

"Do I have to attend all the weekly, in-person sessions?"

No, you don't have to - I know that family life, amongst other things, can often get in the way, and family comes first. If you have to miss a session, you can catch up by doing some reading/video watching etc, and it might be possible for you to listen in by Skype if we can arrange it. But if you are going to miss a number of sessions, you might prefer to wait for the next course, so that you can maximise the usefulness of the in-person sessions.

"Do I have to do all the homework?"

No! Of course if you can make time to do the homework this will mean you will get the most out of the classes, but don't force it if you can't fit it in, and especially not if it's making you feel more stressed! When I did my Starter Class, I kept up pretty well for the first 2 or 3 weeks, and then it all started to slip because of other commitments! But you have access to the online classroom for a good while after the class, so you can always go back and review materials there later on if you would like to. I will highlight each week which bits of the homework are most important for accessing the next class, and hopefully this will help you to prioritise when things get on top of you.

"Can I bring my baby to the in-person sessions?"

Yes, if you have a babe-in-arms, you are welcome to bring them along. You might find it more difficult to fully focus on the course if you have your baby with you, but if you feel ok with that, then you would be most welcome. If they are crying etc and disturbing the class, we might ask you to step away for a short while, but this doesn't usually cause any issues. It is up to each person's judgement as to whether they feel they can access the course successfully with their baby coming along too - but if you're happy for other (very willing!) people to hold your baby whilst you take some time to actively participate, there's no reason why it shouldn't work well! And of course if you aren't sure, there is always the option of waiting for a future course, when your baby is a bit older and can be left with another carer.

"How do I fit it in?!!"

Oh it's so hard to fit everything in as a parent, I understand!! I see the time spent on learning these tools as an investment - and as things get easier in your family, because of what you learn on the course, you will find you have more time and then it's easy to see the benefit! We dedicate our time to so many important things in our lives, and for me it was just a question of juggling my priorities for the six weeks, and letting a few things go, so that I could make the time work and access this life-changing course. But if now is not the time for you to commit to a 6-week class, I also run one-off talks and workshops which might be of interest.

"What happens after the course?"

After our 6-week course, there are many avenues open to you if you wish to develop your Hand in Hand skills further. I offer other short courses, and one-off talks and workshops, or if there's a particular area you want to delve into more deeply, I can provide one-on-one consultations. You are also more than welcome to join our extremely supportive and friendly Facebook group at any time (you don't need to have done any classes to join us), or to follow the Journeys in Parenting Facebook page. You might also wish to browse the Hand in Hand Parenting website, where you can search for information on specific issues, and find heaps of free resources (articles, other parents' stories, teleseminars, video series…), as well as further short courses and booklets for a small fee.