Playful Parenting

  • Interview with Playful Parenting author, Larry Cohen
  • Playful Parenting Tips
  • Encouraging Confidence in Children with Playful Parenting
  • Dr. Lawrence Cohen on Reconnecting with Children
  • Parents in Action: Playful parenting
  • Playful Parenting Audiobook | Lawrence J. Cohen
  • 77 Ways to Parent – Playful Parenting-More Than Just Fun & Games
  • Playful Parenting
  • Raw Vegan 5 year old Dinner Time| Raw Vegan Fruitarian Playful Parenting
  • When your child rejects his Daddy _ Playful Parenting
Amazon Price: $16.00 $10.66 You save: $5.34 (33%). (as of October 19, 2017 6:35 pm – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Have you ever stepped back to watch what really goes on when your children play? As psychologist Lawrence J. Cohen points out, play is children’s way of exploring the world, communicating deep feelings, getting close to those they care about, working through stressful situations, and simply blowing off steam. That’s why “playful parenting” is so important and so successful in building strong, close bonds between parents and children. Through play we join our kids in their world–and help them to

• Express and understand complex emotions
• Break through shyness, anger, and fear
• Empower themselves and respect diversity
• Play their way through sibling rivalry
• Cooperate without power struggles

From eliciting a giggle during baby’s first game of peekaboo to cracking jokes with a teenager while hanging out at the mall, Playful Parenting is a complete guide to using play to raise confident children. Written with love and humor, brimming with good advice and revealing anecdotes, and grounded in the latest research, this book will make you laugh even as it makes you wise in the ways of being an effective, enthusiastic parent.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (April 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345442865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345442864
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces

Customer Reviews

Great Advice Mingled with some Guilt-Genre Red Flags

202 people found this helpful.
 on July 26, 2012
By Meredith Bartron
I’ll start by saying I liked the book. I read a lot of parenting books because 1) I have a rather spirited two year old (and an infant) and 2) I happen to find this particular genre of study fascinating. Since I read so many and am familiar with the kid-help writing style, I tend to be skeptical of any parenting book that has found “the way,” even while realizing that if you are going to write a book, you might as well give your opinion with confidence (I worry more about a person who reads one book and thinks they have discovered the meaning of parenting because Dr. So and So told them all studies point this way). I can’t give the book five stars because it feeds into the “you are never playing enough with or doing enough for and if you did cry it out you have scarred your children even though I have no evidence other than a hunch” theories. Let’s face it, parents spend more time playing with their children today than likely any other time in human history. We are doing enough. That said, we probably aren’t playing smartly, and this is where the book had great value and why I would ultimately recommend it. I’ve tried a couple of the techniques, like pretending to scream and making it a game when you actually really want to scream, or singing instructions, or my favorite-grabbing a toy and running when two kids won’t stop fighting over it-and they all helped the mood in our family a lot. Simply by reading this book, I find myself engaging more when I play with my daughter (I’m a stay at home mom, so I have a lot of time to play). When she clings to me, I turn the tables and pretend like I can’t let her go until she is the one complaining about me clinging. I would never have thought of that. So yes, the book is good, but, no, it is not perfect and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t agree with everything the author says or find some of the advice suffocating. I’ve noticed that all experts present facts, yet a good portion of the experts disagree, meaning take what works for you and leave the rest alone because no one psychologist or doctor or pediatrician has discovered THE WAY.

From a dad to his daughter

One person found this helpful.
 on December 20, 2014
By pamoon
I have bought this book as a Christmas gift to my daughter and her husband because they have just become parents. I considered myself to be a very playful dad and want to encourage them to do so too. I very much liked a radio interview I heard on National Public Radio discussing the book with the author. You can hear the delightful podcast of that interview at NPR’s website and searching for “what-kids-can-learn-from-a-water-balloon-fight”

A compassionate approach for children as well as parents

6 people found this helpful.
 on May 11, 2009
By C. Her
I had read through this book and sensed deeply how compassionate the author felt towards the children and parents. He understands how difficult it is to grow up as well as how difficult it is to raise happy and healthy children. He repeatedly emphasize the importance of staying connected with children and supplied wonderful examples for how to do it in difficulty situations. I was so touched by the authout’s compassion and decided to lighten up. IT WORKS! I saw the twinkles in my 7-year-old son’s eyes! After we had several episodes of laughing and giggles in the times that would have called for “disciplines” I felt my son’s attitude changed. He was so willing to be cooperate and more understanding. Boy, I am not going to lament about why I did not read this book any earlier. What I am going to do is to read it as many times as possible until this approach becomes as natural to me as breathing. Thank you, Mr. Cohen.

Five Stars

 on September 3, 2017
By Beverly E Montgomery
Great book.

So much more than playfulness!

2 people found this helpful.
 on September 26, 2010
By TweedBunny
Its easy to WANT to be more fun when it comes to parenting, but the hard part for me was how to go about it. I bought this book hoping it would give me some good ideas. It exceeded my expectations! This book isn’t just about being a fun, playful parent, it’s so much more. Its about learning how to connect with your child, how to read your childs feelings and insecurities, and how to get them to learn to express their feelings in a safe, communicative way. All of the ideas and information was new to me and very fascinating. The book is written and organized well. The author provides plenty of anecdotes and examples of ways to connect with your child. I didn’t feel like I was reading a book of ideas with no way to illustrate them as I have with other parenting books. I learned actual ways to connect. Highly recommended, I will be definately be reading this one again when my babies are a few years older!

tired of lecturing, threatening, scolding, punishing, bribing, distracting? . . .

11 people found this helpful.
 on June 28, 2011
. . . Dr. Cohen shows you don’t need to. After applying some of his principles for a week, I already see results: more trust, engagement, eye-contact, attentiveness, and co-operation. My child feels safer with me, as I have stopped yelling, and the whole family feels lighter and more relaxed. Help your child unload his frustration and fears. It’s hard work but much easier than battling with your child. Dr. Cohen explains why traditional techniques– indulgence on the one extreme and punishment on the other–do not work and are damaging. Connectedness is key, which in practical terms means boisterous, physical play, holding through tears and a full embrace of tantrums. Crying is a good thing! Philosophically, Cohen falls outside of behaviorism (reward good behavior, punish bad) while endorsing structure and limits. It is through play that children learn self-control and rules–not through time-outs, stuffing their feelings, or crying alone. He defines our job as parents as stewards of our little ones’ esteem. We don’t need to tower over them, overpowering them by our sheer size, to have them be delightful. Cohen teaches us graceful, silly ways to get through the sticky moments and enter the magical world that our children usher into our lives, something we should not pass up on–for our own benefit but especially for theirs. This is essential reading for new and seasoned parents, grandparents, and caretakers.

I’m all business

32 people found this helpful.
 on January 26, 2007
By K. Bober
…at least I feel that way sometimes. At first I felt kind of silly buying this book, but I definitely am happy that I did – I have added it to a small list of books that provide useful parenting tools to me. I have this amorphous idea in my head about what kind of a mommy I want to be (I have a 17 month old son, and we’re trying for the next one), but very little in the way of role models and examples to help flesh out that picture. This book is helping me to “get over myself” and be less business like. It has helped me strike a balance between the everyday routine and rituals that are really important for our sanity and the spontaneity that punctuates our day with joy, belly laughs and squeals. It will definitely grow with us, too!

Five Stars

2 people found this helpful.
 on March 2, 2016
By leandra
This is my favorite parenting book! It’s reminded me why I love being a mom 🙂

Excellent Source to Bond with your Children!

2 people found this helpful.
 on October 18, 2011
Dr. Cohen did a fabulous job writing this important manual for parents/guardians to use with their children. As an avid student of child development, play is how our children can best articulate their feelings and need to others. It is our job as caregivers, educators, and skilled professionals to acknowledge what children are trying to say when words can limit or misinterpret their means of communication. Play can help us understand our kids as well; help encourage them to express themselves in a safe and non-critical environment. I highly recommend this publishing for caregivers, students, educators, and practitioners, alike.

Five Stars

 on July 11, 2017
Excellent book. Well worth reading.