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Playful Parenting [Paperback]

Lawrence J. Cohen
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
Price: 8.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

20 Nov 2012

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.

Frequently Bought Together

Playful Parenting + How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk + Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too (How to Help Your Child)
Price For All Three: 26.57

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (20 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345442865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345442864
  • Product Dimensions: 20.7 x 14.1 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD, is a US licensed psychologist, author, speaker, and consultant. His book, Playful Parenting, was the winner of the NAPPA GOLD AWARD for parenting resources, and has been translated into several languages--look for the Polish, Czech, and Korean translations coming soon. Playful Parenting is also available as an audiobook. Larry is also the co-author of two books about children's friendships, popularity, and social cruelty. His newest book, The Art of Roughhousing, to be published by Quirk Books, is co-written with Anthony DeBenedet, MD. The Art of Roughhousing is available for pre-order now, and will hit the Amazon warehouse on May 17, 2011. In addition to his private practice of psychotherapy and play therapy, Larry is a frequent speaker at schools and community groups, and he serves on the advisory boards of Playskool Toys and of the Blue School in New York City. He lives in Brookline, MA, USA. Learn more at or

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Think about the loving gaze of an infant, the no-holds-barred embrace of a toddler, the intimacy of a shared bedtime story, or a silent hand-in-hand walk. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
70 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing parenting book 31 July 2010
I cannot recommend this book enough. It has totally transformed my approach to parenting my two little boys. I bought the book because I was feeling frustrated with my 3 year old sons constant requests to "plaaaaaaaaaaaaaay". To be honest, I was finding his games a little boring and repetitive and we were really stuck in a rut. I also secretly resented his requests thinking that surely he should be able to play more independently by now. So, I sought guidance from this book. I was hooked from the very first page. The book really helped me realise that children connect with us through their play. They use play to understand difficult emotions, to build confidence and to develop a sense of themselves. Laurence Cohen provides ideas for lots of wonderful playful approaches to situations that I would have previously resorted to threats and the dreaded "naughty chair". We never use the naughty chair any more and our house if full of fun and laughter. My husband and I feel like we can really indulge in play and we are almost having a second childhood. We knew that we were seriously on the wrong track with our kids before. Our unrealistic expectations for perfect behaviour, regular tellings off and trips to the naughty chair were making our son angry and resentful. We knew that we were spoiling our children's childhood and missing out on the most wonderful time of our lives. We feared that they would grow up to resent us for the parenting approach that we were using. Thankfully, this book has really turned us around and we look forward to a long happy relationship with our two boys.
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126 of 132 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Your child defies you. What do you do? I'm tempted to crack down on the kid. This book shows how to turn the confrontation into connection while still setting limits. The author, Lawrence Cohen, restores joy to parenting--playing with your child becomes healing and nurturing for both of you. Cohen provides specific examples of play you can use in the whole range of difficult encounters with children. Especially valuable are his explanations of the fear and anger that underlie particular types of defiant statements by children, and his examples of play that can defuse the anger and ameliorate the fear. This book even speaks--implicitly--to adults' fears and anger, explaining how to get over old emotions. If I had to choose one book to give to a new parent, this would be the one--although I'd also be tempted to provide "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby." But the Cohen book will, in the long run, provide more help and provide it over the child's entire time at home. A word about its readability: Five-star. It is amazing that this author can write so clearly and in such an entertaining way, and at the same time provide a crucial new way to connect with a child. The book is a revelation and a delight.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is an absolute must have. 7 Nov 2011
By Gins
I have read so many parenting books, simply to learn more about my children and how to make sure they are happy and well adjusted. A lot of them are rubbish to be honest. However, this book makes so much sense. I have adopted a few of the play ideas suggested and my lovely 4 year old son has twice today thrown his arms around me for no reason! As a parent, you tend to question whether your way of doing things is right. You also question whether you are inadvertently damaging your children or spoiling them etc. The way this book is written is very comforting. It reminds you that you are quite normal! For example, it reminds you that it's normal to feel angry at your children when they are playing up but also nudges you to consider why they are playing up. Because it is written by a psychologist, it provides amazing insights into a child's behaviour. I always thought that having too much 'of a laugh' with your children etc was setting the wrong boundaries. However, yesterday afternoon, the whole family got into bed and watched a film and my 4 year old has been so wonderful ever since. He keeps throwing his arms around me! I have been making a joke about his whining too. If he starts, I crumple into heap and do it myself. He ends up laughing and the situation is diffused. Some people seem to know all this naturally but I didn't. That's why this book meant so much to me!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical Parenting Advice 26 Feb 2011
A good book. Gives advice on how to help your child develop through play. You can help them (and yourself) learn to deal healthily with the whole range of emotions your child experiences. It opened my eyes to my own preconceptions.

An example of its practicality - my son hates having his face and hands wiped after meals. Following the advice in the book I gave him the cloth and asked him to wipe my face. I squealed and pulled faces - he loved it, then let me wash his face with no problems. He could see that I hated it too but that I was happy with the result. He had some control and power where he had felt out of control and powerless before. Mealtimes now end far more pleassantly than before.
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65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best parenting book I've read in years 9 Aug 2002
By A Customer
I read most of the parenting books that come out, because I am always interested in learning more, but most of them are just rehashes of old news, or full of unhelpful advice. This one is different. Lawrence Cohen really understands children, and parents. He writes about how important it is to get down on the floor and play with children at their level in their world--the world of play. Then he goes on to offer an entirely fresh--and very workable--approach to everything from discipline to sibling rivalry. He tells funny and useful anecdotes about using these teschniques with his daughter and with other kids. read it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely approach to parenting without conflict
Really worth reading, even if you are just starting out on your parenting journey as it shows a good approach to a conflict free household by just changing your own behaviour and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Millie Bookery
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
A lovely read - so good I lent it to someone who lost it and now I'm purchasing again as it is the sort of book I want to have to reach for when I'm feeling a bit lost! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sarah Lyons
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is now one of my essential parenting helps - really good for specific ways to play through specific problems. Most definitely 5 stars.
Published 4 months ago by A. Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars A book each parent should read
It does help a lot understanding your child and mostly to be happier together
We often forget to be happier and more playful with them and also has various techniques to help... Read more
Published 5 months ago by A. Merola
5.0 out of 5 stars What a lovely book
This book is amazing. Dr. Cohen writes clearly and in an easy to understand way that makes so much sense. I shared this book with my husband who loved it too. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Tiredmom
5.0 out of 5 stars Introducing a new universe
The book shifted the way I used to look at the world. It is full of examples (-techniques to use), it introduces a logic which helps to translate childrens' language into adult... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Cacyanwe
5.0 out of 5 stars different perspective on behaviour
Read sample and had to get full book. Offers more than actual games and strategies but a way of seeing what's behind a child's behaviour and see from their point of view. Read more
Published 9 months ago by C. Charles
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit repetitive but so helpful
We bought this as we kept getting 'stuck in ruts' with our toddler - you know, when they refuse to do something or keep doing something naughty and eventually, in spite of your... Read more
Published 9 months ago by RJ321
5.0 out of 5 stars full of useful tips
Really useful book, I took so many tips and advice and they worked and many things getting improve with my daughter and helping deepen our relationship, I recommend everyone who... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Miss LUL
5.0 out of 5 stars Very usefull in understanding and connecting with kids
I am playful by nature. This book helped me so much to see under the surface, understand kids and try to connect with them more efficiently. Read more
Published 12 months ago by E. C.
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