In parenting, connection is key. Connection with your Child and with your Self

Welcome! I am glad you are here.
You are a good parent, and your child is a good child (despite his/her acting out). Because parenting is emotional work, you need a good support system that you can build within our community. The five listening tools from Hand in Hand Parenting and my ABC of Conscious Parenting will help you repair a broken connection with your child.

Testimonials For

Mihaela Plugarasu

Mihaela has given us a gift in her Hand-in-Hand Parenting sessions.  She is a natural at making parents feel welcome and heard.  Mihaela’s strong personality, coupled with her calmness and nurturing outlook, allows for a safe space where open-dialogue can happen and emotions can run freely.  There is a wealth of information available for parents but to find another human being, another parent who can help bring clarity and create opportunities for sharing experiences, is an entirely different platform.  This is what Mihaela does so well in each session. She is relatable, honest, aware and intentional about what she’s doing and it connects back to the parents in which she supports, mentors and guides.

(Heather, mother of two)

My children have quite an age gap between them. I am the father to a sweet, little 5-year-old girl, and a VERY teenaged 15-year-old boy. When I first heard of the parenting sessions being held on my campus, my immediate thought was of my relationship with my son. Our relationship had become strained as he transitioned into a teen. My own relationship with my mother was never very good and my fear was that my son would look back on me with the same disappointment. As that fear grew so did my own guilt at the way things had become between us. And so, I thought, “it couldn’t hurt” to learn more about parenting by connection with Hand in Hand Parenting.

The great thing about parenting by connection with Hand in Hand is that so much of what we were learning to do is, at least for me, the opposite of what I would typically do, but it all seems to work the better for it. A big thing is the listening partnerships. I am a very closed off person and while that might help for the listening portion of the partnership the idea of opening up about myself for 7, 8, 10 minutes to ANYONE was scary. Regardless of my trepidation, I came out of every listening partnership feeling absolutely refreshed, as if a great weight was lifted. Perhaps I simply made a habit of carrying around too much emotional baggage, but the listening partnerships helped by giving me an outlet to air out those emotions. All of the tools Hand in Hand uses have helped to improve my relationships with my children, but it has been such a gift to be able to connect with them without my own internal turmoil clouding our interactions.

I am very thankful for Hand in Hand Parenting and our parenting coach for introducing us to these very simple, but tremendously effective tools. Techniques such as Staylistening and Playlistening have completely changed the way I interact with both of my children, helping me to better understand and sympathize with a teenager who is beginning his slow transition into adulthood and to better relate to and comfort a sometimes very closed-off little girl. Special Time has introduced a new excitement to our home where not only do both children look forward to it, but I do as well because of how it opens the opportunities for real connections. I have only had a short time with the program but parenting by connection with Hand in Hand has already made me a more confident parent and more importantly, a more compassionate parent.

(Tony, father of two)

Hand in Hand Parenting was a great eye opener not only as a parent, but to my role as a wife, sister, daughter, colleague and friend as well. It provided me essential core actions that I can practice daily and see the benefits almost immediately. I learned that not everything is as it seems, and that science plays an important role in my child’s development. Seeing my child’s tantrum from positive to negative is still a work in progress, but it makes me feel confident she is just using her self-expression and trust in me to help guide her through her emotions.

I also learned that it is important to vent, not in our mind but to others. From this I took that I am not alone, I am human and experience what so many of us have in common. That venting was needed, and felt so much relief of letting go. It has also unexpectedly, brought awareness to a real long-held frustration that stems from my childhood, and held on to now as a mother; the affection and attention of my own mother that I was missing. I can only say that I am extremely grateful to have had a chance to experience some of the sessions that changed my frame of mind.

Thank you again, Mihaela, for creating a safe space and enlightening us!

(Violet, mother of two)

“As a novice parent educator, I have studied many parenting resources in recent years. However, everything up until this point felt piecemeal. The Hand in Hand Starter Course felt like a paradigm shift. Ultimately, it has given me a sense of confidence and deep relief as the tools I’ve gained are so simple and synergistic compared with what I was doing before. Mihaela herself has a gift for helping parents get the deep psychological self care they need to bring themselves more fully into parenting. I am really grateful to Mihaela and Hand in Hand for this transformational experience!”

(Annie, mom of one, 3 years old)

“Mihaela was an incredible guide and support through the Hand in Hand Starter Class!  I have always been a bit of a parenting junkie, reading up on a lot of different philosophies and techniques prior to learning more with Mihaela about what Hand in Hand suggests.  However, after having completed the class with Mihaela, I am a complete convert and believer in the effectiveness of Hand in Hand’s tools on deepening my connection with my two kids!  I feel so much more confident in my ability to parent well and in my ability to build my children’s confidence in themselves by listening to their big feelings (which I struggled with before), set limits, doing regular special time, and playing with them in a purposeful way.  Most importantly, I feel well supported and listened to, thanks to Mihaela’s great abilities as a listening partner!  She is incredibly intuitive and deeply empathetic.  I highly recommend taking a class with her – it will change your life as a parent!”

(Aanchal, mom of two, 4 & 2 years old)

My favorite topics to teach parents are:

  • how children’s emotions work and the neuroscience behind it;

  • why tantrums and other off-track behaviors are good “messengers” and need to be welcomed in every family;

  • how to handle anger and aggression in children;

  • the difficulties of toxic co-parenting and how to make it easier for everyone involved, especially the child;

  • why self –care is the foundation for a connected child-parent relationship.

Wisdom from Hand in Hand Parenting:

When a child feels safe, loved and connected to the adults around him, his intelligence and openness to collaboration are in full gear.
Children learn best through play. In particular, free play without competition or pre-set rules are a great builder of children’s intellect, imagination and confidence.
Connection is as vital as food, water and shelter.
An aggressive child is a scared child. She feels isolated, frightened and alone. Handling children’s anger is one of the most difficult and universal job in parenting.
Feelings from unresolved incidents remain in a child’s emotional memory. When a situation resembles a moment of hurt from the past, these deeply stored feelings come to surface.

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I am an educator with more than 15 years of leadership, self- development and teaching experience. I am also a mom, a co-parent and a college professor with teaching experience in the United States, Europe and Latin America. My two core values are growth and education.

I am the 1-st certified parent educator for parenting-by-connection in Florida, by Hand in Hand Parenting. In this role, I facilitate parent support groups, workshops, classes and individual work with families. I use my ABC of Conscious Parenting to help parents get started on this journey: self-Awareness, Be-ing Present and Connection. I teach parents to use listening tools and compassionate self – inquiry to connect with themselves and their children, especially when parenting feels hard.

I founded Parenting Made Conscious, a community of conscious parents who come together to learn, evolve and create a connection-based relationship with their children. My first book, Conscious Parenting of Your Toddler: Strategies to Turn Discipline into Growth and Connection ( 2020), is now available on Amazon.