Hi, I’m Karen

Attachment and relationship-oriented parent and family coach, trauma education certified, philologist, linguist, mum and twin mum of three teens.

I’m passionate about rethinking parenting and believe choosing connection and overcoming adultism is the key to more ease, calm and joy in family life, as well as lasting social change, a more just and peaceful world.

I support parents who want to do it differently, find peaceful and respectful ways to connect with their kids and build strong relationships, so they can be the parent they want to be, with confidence, ease and joy.

Karen Netzel

I believe choosing connection and overcoming adultism is the key to more ease, calm and joy in family life – and that rethinking parenting is the key to lasting social change, a more just and peaceful world for all people.

In my coaching, courses and community, I support parents in understanding their child’s behaviour – and their own! – creating connection, as well as cultivating consent, collaboration and trust in their everyday parenting. The parents I work with seek me out because they want to do it differently, rethink conventional parenting practices and invest in the relationship they have with their child.

Why I do what I do

  • As a philologist and linguist, I’ve always been driven to understand human behaviour, as well as how people communicate and interact with one another. If you want more ease, calm and joy in family life, I can offer you a fresh perspective: from power struggles, frustration and overwhelm to more connection, the confidence to handle the challenges of everyday parenting and build a strong relationship with your child.

  • We were all children once and I believe we all have a peaceful parent in us, albeit perhaps deep underneath the layers of beliefs, patterns of behaviour and developmental trauma from the adultism and patriarchy that socialised us. I love supporting parents (re)discover the peace and compassion they’ve always had, so that they can build loving and joyful relationships with themselves and generations to come.

  • Be the parent you want to be. Conventional parenting practices such as punishments and rewards affect your relationship with your child and their healthy development. There’s a different way. Let’s explore how!

  • Every day is a new opportunity for connection is my motto. I believe it’s never too late to do it differently and set your relationship with your child on a new course.

Change the way you see your child and the child you see will change.

  • I can support you in understanding your child’s behaviour – and your own! To experience more connection, ease and joy in family life, as well as find peaceful and respectful ways for handling difficult situations and conflicts in your everyday parenting. I can support you in lovingly accepting yourself and parenting from a place of connection, with the confidence that your child – and you – are ok, just as you are.

  • Parenting is political. How we parent affects how our kids will go out into the world. When you feel like you belong, you’ll welcome others. When you feel seen, heard and understood, you’ll be capable of empathy. When you have a healthy sense of self-worth, you are less likely to seek self-affirmation in authoritarianism.

  • My vision is deeply-connected parent-child relationships, more ease and joy in family life, as well as lasting social change and a more peaceful world, through rethinking parenting and choosing connection. I want to see more understanding of what it means to be a child in today’s society, a change in the way we think about children and the parent-child relationship that takes into account everything we know from the science about how children grow and learn, recognises children as partners in the relationship, and enables them to grow up physically and emotionally healthy and capable. I  create awareness about adultism and advocate connection, consent and collaboration in parenting.

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My journey

From reading Jane Austen as a teenager, via my philology and languages degree, as well as a passion for travel and different cultures, I’ve always been fascinated by relationships and how people interact with one another.

For over 20 years – from my studies to my work as a translator, trainer, consultant and project manager in knowledge management, communication and learning in a large, global corporation – human relationships, behaviour, communication and personal development have been the focus of my work.

As a mum, I’ve had the privilege of shifting that focus to parenting and family relationships, experiencing the joys and challenges of parenthood, as well as what it means to build deeply connected relationships with my kids firsthand.

I was born and grew up in the southeast of England, and now live in Germany with my husband, our three children and two cats. Our children are growing up with two languages, countries and cultures.

Connection over correction.

Responding over reacting.

Collaboration over coercion.

Curiosity over criticism.

Impact-aware over intention.

Compassion over expectation.

Empathy over teaching a lesson.

Practice consent and cultivate cooperation.

My journey has taken me via attachment parenting, peaceful and respectful parenting, gentle parenting, conscious parenting, unschooling, non-violent communication and the basic understanding that children are people too, who grow up to be healthy, capable and compassionate adults when they have connected relationships with parents and trusted adults who are connected to themselves, and who are willing and able to see and value children for the growing human beings they are.

That’s why I believe it’s time to rethink conventional parenting practices, choose connection and focus on building strong relationships.

Me & the kiddos on the beach at Morro Bay

As a mum and twin mum of three children born less than two years apart, I know the joys and challenges of being a parent. I understand the questions parents have around building strong and loving relationships with their kids, as well as looking for peaceful and respectful ways to balance the needs of all family members – and I know that everyday parenting isn’t easy. I ask myself the same questions – every day! Parenthood is my biggest adventure, my greatest challenge and brings me more joy than I ever could have hoped for.

I also know that parent and family coaching, as well as the support of a community, can help with getting a fresh perspective, becoming peaceful, and parenting with confidence, ease and joy.

Parent and family coaching, as well as the support of a community, helps with getting a fresh perspective, becoming peaceful, and parenting with confidence, ease and joy.

I’ve had the privilege of supporting families from around the world find more connection, ease, calm and joy in their everyday parenting. You can read what other parents are saying about my coaching and courses here.

Map of the world showing the countries from which Karen Netzel has worked with clients.

More about me

  • I love being in the company of children and believe that conventional ideas about parenting and discipline do more harm than good. In my work, I focus on connection, empathy, and a peaceful, respectful, consent-based, collaborative, gentle and conscious approach to parenting and (family) life. Good for kids, good for parents, good for society and good for the world.

  • I was born in Essex, England, where I grew up not far from London and near the sea, which is my favourite place in the world and my go-to place when I want to tank up on energy and connect with myself.

  • I came to Germany as a young graduate and married my German husband. My passion for languages, different countries and cultures goes back to my school days, when I learned and then studied languages. Now I get to live my linguist-self’s dream, see my kids grow up bilingually and be a part of the adventure that is family life across two languages, countries and cultures.

  • I love doing jigsaw puzzles. First the edge pieces, then fill in from there. That’s why I love my work. Looking at what’s happening on the outside (typically a particular behaviour or habit), then starting to piece together what’s on the inside (beliefs, feelings and emotional needs). The edges provide a framework for understanding what’s on the inside and how it all fits together. It’s so satisfying to see the full picture take shape.

  • As a student, I had a string of different jobs to finance my studies. Most inspiring was working with children at a holiday sports camp. This work not only saw me through my next term at college but it was so rewarding to see how the young people who arrived sullen and often aggressive in the mornings would blossom throughout the day when they experienced that someone was interested in them, accepted them for who they were, spent time with them and valued them as part of the team.
  • A Find your perfect job quiz at school concluded I should be a librarian. Considering my love of reading and looking at my bookshelves today, this may not have been so far off. I have a unique collection of Jane Austen, 18th century French philosophers, 20th century modernists, dictionaries, travel guides, some dodgy rom-com fiction, as well as self development, neuroscience, biographies, anti-racism, social justice education and parenting books.

  • I’ve been a full-time working professional in a global corporation, a part-time working mum and a stay-at-home mum. Today I’m a business owner and work-from-home mum. We don’t have grandparents or extended family living near us and I know the reality of work-family-life balance, being a parent and family without a big family network close by.
  • Alliance for Self-Directed Education member badge: self-directed.org

    I’m passionate about learning, self-directed education and changing the paradigm in adult-child relationships in educational settings. As a family, we’re active in the community of the self-directed school our kids attend and through my work, I’m proud to support the Alliance for Self-Directed Education.

  • I love to travel. I’ve been lucky enough to see some beautiful places in our world. I love being in nature and in big cities. London will always feel like home and travelling with my kids is one of my greatest joys. I have a long list of places I still want to see in my lifetime.

  • I love my work! I love connecting with people, sharing stories and experiences, and I love the science and research that is so important when it comes to understanding our kids and ourselves, how our brains work, what emotional well-being means for our health – and the health of society. I love seeing the difference it can make to people’s lives – parents, families, their kids and ultimately humankind – when we change the way we parent and enable each and every one of us to lead peaceful, intentional, fulfilling and joyful lives.

Does that sound like something you want too?

My bio – the third-person, grown-up version

As an international, relationship-based parent coach and mentor, Karen advocates rethinking parenting, through choosing connection, cultivating consent, collaboration and trust based on equal dignity in families and education.

For over 20 years – from her studies in Modern Languages at the University of Cambridge, England, to her work as a translator, trainer, consultant and project manager in knowledge management, communication and learning in a large, global corporation – human connection, relationships, communication and personal development have been the focus of Karen’s work.

As a mum and twin mum of three teens born less than two years apart, she has had the privilege of shifting that focus to parenting and family relationships, experiencing the joys and challenges of parenthood, as well as what it means to build deeply connected relationships with her kids firsthand.

In 2019, she completed her educational-psychological vocational training and was certified as an attachment and relationship-oriented parent and family coach with a thesis on sibling rivalry.

Karen was born and grew up in the UK, and now lives in Germany with her husband, three children and two cats. Karen’s children are growing up with two languages, different countries and cultures. Besides her work, she loves spending time with her children, travelling, being active, and learning new things. She loves ice cream and chocolate cake, especially when vegan, and dreams of a house by the sea.

Read more about my biography and qualifications here.

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See what parents are saying about working with me

Can highly recommend! Karen’s great!

Judith, a son (6 yrs)
I am so happy with your course. It makes me think so much about my relationships at home (and also outside) and it motivates me to change. I really want to thank you for guiding us through this huge positive transformation in our way to see and feel the world.
Lis, a son (5 yrs)
It‘s been really helpful and supportive for us to get some feedback and to be able to rethink our methods of parenting.
We‘ve had a really positive experience and spoke about how much we enjoyed it, felt comfortable and how open it was.
Connor, a daughter (3 yrs)

The course changed our family life, my relationship with my husband and with our daughter, for the better. I’m very happy and grateful that I was able to participate in your course. I had a lot of ahas in the last few weeks. In the last few months, I felt completely lacking in peace and calm, but was able to find it again in your course. I’ve noticed I can see many situations differently and understand my daughter more, which makes me feel better, lighter and happier.

Anna, a daughter (2 yrs)
Thank you for the support and helpful tips for a more connected and respectful family life!
It’s been a great learning curve and probably will be for a good while… but the positive outcome is the best motivation!
Stephanie, a daughter (3 yrs)

I can totally recommend the Connect with Your Child course. Karen has a profound knowledge and explains everything in an easy way. I made a big step forward. I am more confident, all the info was very, very helpful. Thank you!


I would definitely recommend the Connect with Your Child course. It will bring peace and understanding to your parenting. I loved the explanations Karen used while describing the behaviour interpretation. She also helped to change my mindset about parenting in a very practical way. She is able to explain the topic easily and understandably within the context of everyday situations.

Jana, two children (4 & 5 yrs)

I felt like I didn’t understand my daughter’s behavior, why she acted out, what was bothering her, etc. I felt helpless.
Now I feel like I understand that there is a connection between the behavior and the real issue behind it. The realization that there is something behind the behavior is huge. Now I am aware….. There still is a lot of work to do but the first step is knowing what I have to do. I feel like I have the tools to help me.

Sarah, a daughter (7 yrs)

Karen’s a great personality! I know few people who communicate so respectfully with children. She really helped me with my concerns.

Susanne, two children (6 & 2 yrs)

I wanted to improve how my son and I communicated. I now observe him more. When he gets angry, I’m able to keep calm. I feel more confident and more understood. I got a lot of food for thought, tips and also reassurance. It was definitely worth it. I really enjoyed it.

Ilona, a son (7 yrs)

The course was very valuable for me. After just one module, I was able to see our daily routine and the way our child was behaving in a different light. I could see why she was behaving in that way and understand what she really needed. We made a small adjustment to our daily routine, which had the big effect that now I and my kids can start our day less stressed, happier and feeling more connected to each other.

Saša, two children (4 & 1 yrs)

Karen is providing digestible and concise content, and makes it personal with examples from her own experience. The task sheets are so valuable because you find out lots about your own struggles and triggers. She gives you tools to work with your own anger and how to fulfil your unmet needs so you can be there to support your children as good as possible. I would recommend this course to anyone who would like to communicate without judgement and to make this world a friendlier place.

Stephanie, two daughters (3 yrs & 4 months)

The transition from primary school to high school, in parallel to quarantine, reduced working hours and having building work done, pushed me to my limits with my two children. Now I reflect more than before and can see the needs behind the behaviour. After the first sparks fly, I’m able shift into an empathic response relatively quickly. It’s worth it and the course fee is better invested than in buying new clothes.

Katja, two daughters (5 & 10 yrs)

Feeling overwhelmed with three children under the age of two, we signed up for the Understanding Toddlers & Preschoolers course. Mealtimes were difficult, bedtimes were difficult. We were unhappy with the situation, and ourselves, and wanted things to improve. Now, after the course, we understand our children more and can respond better to their needs. The situations at mealtimes and bedtimes have also changed. We’re all more relaxed… The course is worth it! Even if you think you’re already doing a good job, you’ll learn something new.

Michael, three daughters (2, 2 & 1 yrs)

Working with Karen really helped me!
Karen’s very likeable and had a way of making me feel very comfortable. As a coach, she not only shared her knowledge but saw me as as a person. She connected with me on a personal level, which enabled me to build trust. She was well prepared for our sessions and introduced each topic thoughtfully, which I think is really important when talking about emotional topics like children, being a mum, and relationships. She listened carefully to me and was attuned to my way of thinking. Karen has a great deal of expert knowledge and offered new ways of seeing things that all made a lot of sense to me. I left our coaching sessions with lots of new ways of thinking as well as a concrete idea of what I could do differently in our everyday family life. I always felt as though she was listening to me and that she was hearing me. That was very helpful and exactly what I want as a client.

Susanne, two children (6 & 2 yrs)

It feels like we – my son and I – have less battles following the course. I always try to keep in mind that he wants to cooperate with me and that opens up other perspectives: to stop for a moment, respond to my child, see what’s going on with him, see his feelings, just to enjoy him….

Tanja, a son (3 yrs)

I got a lot of new ideas on how to better connect with my child. The course also explained the difference between the old way of raising children with punishment and a new way with connection. It was mind blowing!

Céline, two daughters (4 & 5 yrs)

So, so fabulous! I’ve found the paradigm shifts that we discussed really informing my mindset during some challenging behaviors/emotional states that have come up around the end of the school year!  So fantastic!

Chrissy, a daughter (6 yrs)

I realised I’d tended to leave the relationships with our children to my wife. I wanted to change that and understand my children better. I now believe I can react better in everyday situations. I recognised some old, ingrained patterns from my childhood that were preventing me from connecting with my kids.

Dale, three children (8, 10 & 10 yrs)

Karen’s very empathetic and a great coach who finds wonderful words.

Tamara, three children (7, 5 & 3 yrs)

We were stuck in a cycle with our son, constantly reacting to his behaviour and feeling a little hopeless as parents not knowing what to do for the best.
We now have a better understanding of our son’s behaviour, how our own stress and childhood experiences manifest in our treatment of our children, what our children are ‘telling’ us in their actions, and a set of tools to manage.
Amazing! Don’t know how we would have moved forward without you.

Matt, two children (9 & 5 yrs)

Totally fabulous! You are really wonderful; very approachable, easy to connect with online. I felt immediately comfortable being vulnerable with you about my parenting insecurities, and trusted your experience. It’s clear that you are a pro, you asked very insightful and clarifying questions. I felt immediately understood and supported, and left with real and actionable info.

Chrissy, a daughter (6 yrs)

Before we started coaching, I asked myself: will it really help? For me, the first step was to realise that help was needed. During coaching, I felt safe and had no worries. It’s clear to me that you have to be open yourself for change to happen.  You’re part of the system and can only change in small steps. Often you fall back into patterns of behaviour. Having an outside perspective helps. It’s easier as an observer ;-) In conflict situations, I now ask: What’s the need? Is it about not feeling safe? It helps me deal with it better. It’s simple. Precise terms like “need”, “feeling safe and secure”, “transition”, “connection”. That’s when it “clicked” :-) You created a friendly atmosphere, which is necessary to open up. Your input was invaluable and you responded very well to situations we described.

Michael, a son (5 yrs)

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