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Playful Parenting (Anglais) Broché – 30 avril 2002

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Play is the essence of life.

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. These moments of heartfelt connection with our children are part of the great payoff for the hard work of parenting. Yet this connection all too often eludes us. We find ourselves locked in battle instead of joined in partnership. We all know the rest: the inconsolable baby, the toddler in the throes of a tantrum, the third-grader in a huff over bedtimes, the twelve-year-old sulking in her room.

Children’s natural exuberance and exploration often gives way to what I call “fighting and biting.” Or they hide themselves behind a Gameboy or a locked door. Meanwhile, our profound feeling of parental love is replaced by resentment and aggravation, even rage. We nag or punish, or we say, “Fine, stay in your room.” We yell when we reach the end of our rope, or just out of habit. All because we feel helpless, rejected, and cut off. We want to reconnect, as much as our children do, but we don’t know how. We still love them, but we barely remember those melting eye gazes of babyhood. If we do remember, it is a bittersweet memory, as if that closeness were lost forever.

Play—together with what I call Playful Parenting—can be the long-sought bridge back to that deep emotional bond between parent and child. Play, with all its exuberance and delighted togetherness, can ease the stress of parenting. Playful Parenting is a way to enter a child’s world, on the child’s terms, in order to foster closeness, confidence, and connection. When all is well in their world, play is an expansive vista where children are joyful, engaged, cooperative, and creative. Play is also the way that children make the world their own, exploring, making sense of all their new experiences, and recovering from life’s upsets. But play is not always easy for adults, because we have forgotten so much. Indeed, children and adults often seem to reside in radically different worlds, even within the same household. We find each other’s favorite activities boring or strange: How can she spend all afternoon dressing up Barbies? How can they sit around all evening just talking?

Parenting and playfulness can seem like contradictions, but sometimes we just need a little push to find one another and have fun together. I was at an outdoor concert, dancing off on the side with my nine-year-old daughter, when a mother and son came over to the dance area. She started dancing a little, but he just stood with his arms folded, a little too shy to dance now that he was there. He was about six or seven. His mother said, starting to get angry, “You dragged me up here, and now you’re not going to dance?” He folded his arms tighter and literally dug his heels in. I thought, We can all see where this is going. I said, “Oh no, he’s doing a new dance,” and I folded my arms just like his and gave him a big smile. He smiled back and moved his hands to a different position, which I copied. His mom caught on right away and started copying him, too. We all laughed. He started moving his shoulders up and down to the music, and his mother said, “You’re dancing!” Then he started to dance, and he had a great time. We all did (including my daughter, who waited patiently while I did “the Playful Parenting thing,” and then wanted my complete attention again). A little playfulness turned the tide.

This small episode demonstrates that Playful Parenting can happen anywhere and anytime, not just during designated playtimes. Playful Parenting begins with play, but it includes much more—from comforting a crying baby to hanging out at the mall; from waging pillow fights to taking the training wheels off the bicycle; from negotiating rules to dealing with the emotional fallout of a playground injury; from getting ready for school to listening to a child’s fears and dreams before bed. Sadly, these simple interactions can seem out of reach sometimes, or full of complications and hard feelings.

The fact is, we adults don’t have much room in our lives for fun and games. Our days are filled with stress, obligations, and hard work. We may be stiff, tired, and easily bored when we try to get on the floor and play with children—especially when it means switching gears from a stressful day of work or household chores. We might be willing to do what they want—like the mom at the outdoor concert, above—but then we get annoyed when they don’t play the way we expect or when they demand too much from us.

Others of us may be unable to put aside our competitiveness or our need to be in control. We get bored, cranky, and frustrated; we’re sore losers; we worry about teaching how to throw the ball correctly when our child just wants to play catch. We complain about children’s short attention spans, but how long can we sit and play marbles or Barbies or Monopoly or fantasy games before we get bored and distracted, or pulled away by the feeling that getting work done or cooking dinner is more important?

When my daughter was in preschool, she made up a great game that helped me be playful instead of shouting at her to hurry up and get ready. One morning she came downstairs, hid behind the doorway, and whispered to me, “Pretend that I’m still upstairs and that we’re really gonna be late and you’re really mad.” So I shouted upstairs, “We’re late, and I am really mad!” and I started storming around and stamping my foot. Meanwhile, she was behind the door giggling, her hand over her mouth. I said, “You better get down here, or I’m leaving without you. I’m going to go by myself to Big Oak Preschool!” She started laughing out loud, so I pretended I couldn’t hear her. While letting her sneak out ahead of me, I made a big show of leaving the house without her, supposedly not noticing she was there. She got in the car and I pretended I was talking to myself out loud, saying, “I am so mad. The teachers are going to say, ‘Where is Emma?’ And I’m going to say, ‘She wasn’t ready, so I just left with- out her.’ ” She was giggling and giggling and trying not to let on that she was really there. She was making getting ready for preschool fun for me! Pretending to be mad helped me not to be really mad, and playing instead of shouting helped her get ready faster!


Some children are leaders and some are followers; some prefer fantasy dress up while others are drawn to ball games. But virtually every child has an instinct for play that buds immediately after birth and is in full bloom by the age of two or three. Play is possible anywhere and anytime, a parallel universe of fantasy and imagination that children enter at will. For adults, play means leisure, but for children, play is more like their job. Unlike many of us adults, they usually love their work and seldom want a day off. Play is also children’s main way of communicating, of experimenting, and of learning.

A child who won’t or can’t play is instantly recognizable as being in significant emotional distress, like an adult who can’t work or won’t talk. Severely abused and neglected children often have to be taught how to play before they can benefit from play therapy. Why do we consider child labor such an abomination? Because it means children grow up without having a childhood, without play. It’s even worse when their labor is exploited so that adults can have more leisure, as depicted in this nineteenth-century poem by Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn:

The Golf Links Lie So Near the Mill

The golf links lie so near the mill

That almost every day

The laboring children can look out

And watch the men at play.

Many experts describe play as a place—a place of magic and imagination, a place where a child can be fully one’s self. As psychologist Virginia Axline wrote about children in preschool: “They can build themselves a mountain and climb safely to the top and cry out for all the world to hear, ‘I can build me a mountain, or I can flatten it out. In here, I am big!’ ”2 I had a great reminder of the basic nature of play at my daughter’s third birthday party. I had organized all kinds of games to play in the park across the street from our house, and, of course, being a psychologist, I explained all of these complicated games to the children, who stood around looking at me as if I were from outer space. I wasn’t sure what to do. The children were too revved up to go back inside, but they weren’t going for my games. My wife interrupted and said, “Okay, everybody, run to the other side of the park and back!” They all ran happily across the park, shrieking and laughing, then ran back and flopped on the ground, giggling and panting for breath. They looked at me, and one boy asked, “That was fun, can we do that again?” I got the point.

Nevertheless, I can’t quite stop talking about the serious side of play. Play is fun, but it is also meaningful and complex. The more intelligent the animal, the more it plays. Unlike slugs or trees, every human learns new things about the world, and themselves, through discovery and practice. Some of this learning just happens automatically, by virtue of being alive, but much of it happens through play. Human childhood has gotten longer and longer, which means an increasing amount of time available for play. Play is important, not just because children do so much of it, but because there are layers and layers of meaning to even the most casual play.

Take an apparently simple game like catch—a child and a parent tossing a baseball back and forth. Much like observing pond water under a microscope, close observation of a game of catch reveals a great deal going on right under our noses. The child is developing hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills; the pair are enjoying their special time together; the child practices a new skill until it is mastered, and then joyfully shows it off; the rhythm of the ball flying back and forth is a bridge, reestablishing a deep connection between adult and child; and comments like “good try” and “nice catch” build confidence and trust.

But this straightforward game can also contain strong undercurrents of feeling. A father I was seeing in therapy described a game of catch during which his son threw him one zinger after another. He could see how angry and frustrated his son was by how hard he was throwing the ball. Together we figured out that perhaps his son was really asking him, “Can you catch what I throw at you? Are my feelings too much for you? Am I safe from my own impulses, my own anger?” Another father’s son loved to play catch, but whenever he missed the ball, the boy would dissolve into tears and tantrums and say, “I told you to throw it lower—you never listen to me!” In this case, the child seemed to be using the game as a way to release a pile of hurt feelings that had nothing to do with baseball.

Not every game of catch, or every playtime with a child, contains all of these multiple levels of meaning. But all play is more profoundly meaningful than we usually think. First, play is a way to try on adult roles and skills, just as lion cubs do when they wrestle with one another. Human children roughhouse, and they play house. As children discover the world, and discover what they are able to do in the world, they develop confidence and mastery.

Play is also a way to be close and, even more important, a way to reconnect after closeness has been severed. Chimpanzees like to tickle one another’s palms, especially after they have had a fight. Thus, the second purpose of play serves our incredible—almost bottomless—need for attachment and affection and closeness.

The third purpose of play for children, and perhaps the one that is most uniquely human, is to recover from emotional distress. Imagine children who have had a hard day at school. They come home and one way or another show you that they’re hurting. They talk about it, or they are irritable and obnoxious. They lock themselves in their room, or they insist on extra attention. But most often, they spontaneously use play to feel better. Perhaps they play school, only this time they are the teacher. Maybe they play a video game and blow up alien enemies for a while. Or they call a friend and talk about it, which is what older children and adults often do instead of play. By pretending, or by retelling the story, the scene can be re-created. This time, the child is in charge. Through playing it out, emotional healing takes place. Escaping into a book or playing a hard game of tennis can also be helpful after a bad day.

One child I knew, who had lots of reading difficulties, would always come home from school and do something she was really good at, which was drawing. Before dinner she would show her parents what she had drawn. In one sweet moment, she was reconnecting with them, restoring her sense of competence, and recovering from the frustration and humiliation of feeling like a failure at school.

Before going into greater detail about these deep meanings of play, let me repeat that play is fun. Spending time with children is supposed to be joyful. My daughter’s preschool teacher told me that preschoolers laugh an average of three hundred times a day. What would happen if we all did that? Let’s have more fun: sing goofy songs, fall over, exaggerate, have pillow fights, tell jokes. If you are frustrated because you have to remind your child for the twelfth time to pack her lunch or take out the garbage, next time try singing the request in a fake-opera voice instead of using the usual nagging tones. At the very least it will get her attention.

As we shall see, however, Playful Parenting is more than just play. We can interact playfully, or on a deep emotional level, no matter what we are doing: working on chores, playing sports, completing homework, hanging out, watching television, cuddling, even imposing discipline.

From the Hardcover edition.

Revue de presse

“A welcome reminder that the serious business of parenthood also can be fun.”
–Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Coauthor of Best Friends, Worst Enemies

“READING THIS BOOK, YOU’LL DISCOVER THAT YOU CAN BE CLOSER TO YOUR CHILDREN AND CAN ENJOY THEM MORE. . . . You’ll learn what a difference play can make in your relationships and the kind of people your children will become. And, most important, you’ll have fun.”
–Chicago Parent

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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
je conseille vraiment ce livre à tous les parents qui pratiquent l'éducation positive au quotidien avec leurs enfants ou qui sont tentés par cette approche.

Lawrence Cohen montre comment utiliser le jeu pour désamorcer les situations conflictuelles avec l'enfant, l'aider à s'exprimer et surtout prendre beaucoup de plaisir à jouer avec son enfant à tout moment.

Sans qu'il l'affirme, on sent nettement que Cohen est un fervent partisan de l'éducation positive (ou non violente) avec les enfants et son livre apporte vraiment quelque chose de plus à toutes les lectures qu'on peut avoir dans ce domaine et dieu sait que j'en ai.

Vraiment un "must have" de l'éducation douce à mon sens.
Remarque sur ce commentaire 6 personnes ont trouvé cela utile. Avez-vous trouvé ce commentaire utile ? Oui Non Commentaire en cours d'envoi...
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5 143 commentaires
345 internautes sur 352 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great resource for parents kids aged 3 and up 21 septembre 2002
Par ChristineMM - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The premise of the book is that children need a strong connection with their parents in order to have good self-esteem, self-confidence, happiness and good behavior. The author is a play therapist that feels that the key to getting and staying connected with our children aged three through the teen years is through play. If you think your child has great behavior then following the ideas in this book will still help foster close connections and reduce the minor issues such as whining, begging, etc. The author contends that simply by spending time playing with our children with the child in control of the nature of the play, that a strong connection can be made. Specific ideas for play "tactics" are given when the parent wants to solve some particular problem or fear. This book is not just for "problem kids" who have sought professional counseling with the author.
The gist of the book is that at about age 3 and up children are in the play mode, they like to play, want to play, need to play. They also at this time live in a world where they feel powerless or isolated at least some of the time, even in the best family situations. The theory is that they have "cups" that fill with love and sometimes when feeling isolated or powerless the cups run low and need refilling. When the cup is low the negative behaviors begin. The author feels that at these ages 3 through teen years, the fastest and most effective way to fill the love cup is by playing with your children. Most of his examples are with the work he has done with his child and his patients. He tells of certain games that can be played to overcome
this or that, such as how to deal with the child who wants to play guns and shoot at the parent, how to deal with swearing, what to do when the child is hyper and aggressive, etc. He made this seem so very simple that I didn't believe it would work. I also at first, didn't want to think my own children would ever need this. But I started using it immediately with my 4
YO and it DOES WORK.
The author discusses the negative issues of permissiveness and the negative aspects of the opposite extreme of over-strictness/authoritarian style of discipline. Regarding punishment methods, the author also is against yelling, threatening, or using verbal abusive techniques such as shaming as well as physical methods such as hitting in any way or spanking. He is also against using time-outs for punishment and explains why they don't work but instead foster more feelings of isolation and detachment. He discusses why letting a baby "cry it out" should not be done. The author is also against behavior modification tactics such as rewards and bribes, giving a brief overview of why they fail in the end, then he suggests reading "Punished by Rewards" for more detailed information.
The author is supportive of attachment in infancy and continuing throughout the teen years. The author interestingly enough never mentions actions to be taken in infancy that would secure an attachment. If you are looking for ways to foster this attachment in your birth through two year old I would recommend books on the subject of attachment parenting such as "The Baby Book" or "The Discipline Book", both written by William Sears MD and his wife Martha Sears RN. However, "Playful Parenting" expands on the information outlined by the Sears' and this book gives more tools and techniques while the essence of this book flows seamlessly from the philosophy as the Sears'.
Unlike other parenting book author "experts", Cohen is able to give the special perspective of a psychologist and really gives some useful information, psychological-wise, on the importance of fostering a close connection with our children and how and why these exercises (play therapy) can and does work. Cohen does not use psychological terminology and the writing style is easy for parents to read and understand. While some other parenting books identify certain behaviors as "normal" for this age or that age, Cohen cites these behaviors as signals that the child is in need of some attention (via play) and once given, the behavior stops. (I recently read a parenting book by psychologists that simply listed multiple negative behaviors as normal for that age. I prefer Cohen's book because he cites the reason for it and suggests solutions.)
He talks about power struggles and about parents who don't like to play,
that are serious all the time or preoccupied and begs parents to loosen up
and play with the kids.
Near the end of the book he does discuss individual issues of importance
such dealing with children's sex play, sibling rivalry, gun play, etc.
Lastly, Cohen admits throughout the book that as a parent he is not perfect and that he even has to sometimes push himself to get down and play Barbie games with his daughter. He does not write with a holier-than-thou attitude. I've done a lot of reading about parenting but have never read anything as great as Cohen's theory and ideas for parenting the three-plus year old.
I'm glad to see this is now out in paperback, the low paperback price will be appreciated by parents.
230 internautes sur 235 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 playing with dinosaurs driving you crazy? read this ! 22 août 2001
Par Pia - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I had thought a lot about what parenting was going to mean for me and how I was going to go about it. I read a lot of different books covering all areas in great detail and discussedit with my partner. When my son arrived the experienced surpassed the greatest of expectations. Being the mother to a baby was just wonderful. BUT THEN one day, our baby was a boy who wanted to PLAY. He really showed that he needed me to get down on the floor and PLAY with him and his toys. I was totally unprepared for this. I could do it for a bit, but then after a while I was exasperated and he was restless. After some time of games like putting all the farm animals in the correct part of the plastic barn and pretend feeding them and putting them to sleep, it was just SO BORING and I couldn't think of what to do next. I felt terribly guilty about checking my watch throughout and then I felt like I was the most boring and unimaginative person ever. I felt there was obviously some wonderful world of fantasy and fun he was in which I as an adult had lost. For the first time I felt disconnected from him. After a few pages of this book, I got down on the floor with my son and played with gusto. I loved it and I could tell that my son was enjoying it. He was only one year and a half at the time. His eyes lit up and at the end of one game that same afternoon he really just looked at me into my eyes with some new curiosity and he stopped repeatedly and intermittently to give me huge hugs in a way which he had never done before.They were not the regular cuddly hugs, but more like "this is new, we're having fun together aren't we?" hugs. We'd started a new way of being together. The book affected not only the way we play together but it introduced for me a whole new way of being a parent which has made it even more rewarding for me. I felt that I had (as much as I could !) really got to grips with what I wanted to do in terms of the attachment parenting issues, "disciplining", communication, connecting and all the practical parts of parenting, but here was the fun and the drive to infuse ALL of those areas. Each page is packed with intelligent thought-provoking ideas and sometimes very serious issues, all of which are embedded in such simple and funny anecdotes from his own practice that there is never a dry or "heavy" moment. There are suggestions HOW to play, how to enjoy it as a parent and how to make the most of it for your child as well as your connection with your child. I also knew that playing was also really important for the development of a child, but I'd just taken this as a given and never spent much thought on what it actually meant. Cohen's ideas about why it is developmentally important opened my eyes. It makes one really think about how to play and Cohen has so many smart ideas about how to use play to contribute as a parent to that development. I know that there are those who really believe that children should "learn" as soon as possible to play by themselves and you might get the impression you have to spend time, which you do not have, playing for ever. But this book is about making the whole of parenting fun and rewarding for everyone. PLUS, a couple of months on, our boy DOES now play by himself (as well as with us) and he is fantastic at initiating games with other children. After all as a parent, you can only be that much fun at the end of the day...He plays loud intense and funny games with his toys by himself and sometimes I have to stop myself from bothering him and joining in. Groundbreaking.
150 internautes sur 157 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Great Advice Mingled with some Guilt-Genre Red Flags 26 juillet 2012
Par Meredith Bartron - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
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.
110 internautes sur 114 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A refreshing change from the usual parenting books 29 mai 2001
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This is a great book! It provides a refreshingly new look at how to connect with your children and have fun while you're doing it.
After reading numerous parenting books, I can recite the usual themes - set realistic limits, provide praise when merited, focus criticism on behavior and keep it brief, be honest, offer choices, blah, blah, blah. They're all good points, but being a responsible parent should not be all there is. Most parenting books ignore the importance of having fun with your children. It's something we're all supposed to just HAVE in our relationships with our children, and then we're disappointed when it's not there as often as we would like.
PLAYFUL PARENTING transcends these usual parenting shibboleths and supplies lessons on how to accomplish something we all yearn for - connection and fun! This book provides simple, easy to use techniques for connecting with your children and having fun while you do it. Like Dr. Doolittle with animals, Dr. Cohen understands the different language that children speak. That language is play. He explains that we need to learn to speak that language if we're going to connect with our children and be truly effective. As adults, we too often lapse into lectures and explanations (sound familiar?) when a playful approach will make us a more effective teacher. Typical of strategies provided in the book is one I now use with my children. Whenever they use some provocative word like "poopyhead" (or something much worse), I respond by saying in a conspiratorial tone "Well, you can say that if you want, but don't ever, EVER, say zoogililoo". Of course, they immediately say it, we all laugh, they get over the need to provoke, and we've connected in a knowing way.
PLAYFUL PARENTING also recognizes that children are often powerless in their relationships with parents and it provides excellent strategies for giving children more control. One strategy described in the book is called "Playtime", which is one on one time a parent sets aside with a child, in which the child gets to make all the decisions about what to do and the parent can not say "no" (basic safety considerations still apply, of course). I tried Playtime with my five year old son one Sunday afternoon and had a wonderful bonding experience with him - doing things such as swimming on a cold day (though I would have rather stayed warm and dry) and letting him hold the train ticket (though I was afraid he'd lose it). For Dr. Cohen understands parents, too, and knows that we all too often say "no" for the wrong reasons - we're tired, bored, or lacking energy. The strategies in this book, like Playtime, will challenge you to stretch yourself as a parent - but with bigtime payback! My son now asks for Playtime every weekend.
I was fortunate to be able to read a prepublication manuscript of PLAYFUL PARENTING last summer. I have employed many of its strategies to great effect with my two boys, ages 5 and 3. I have expanded my repertoire of skills for handling difficult situations, and have a more proactive approach to bonding with my children in ways that we all enjoy. I highly recommend this book to any and all parents. It would make a great gift, especially for those just getting started with the parenting challenge.
49 internautes sur 50 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Not just for the NEW Parent 28 avril 2005
Par J. Condon - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Ok, I'll admit it. Judging from the results, I thought I was a pretty great mom. My 20 year old and my 13 year old are both bright, mature, responsible, independent human beings.

But now, being the 43 year old mom of an "oops baby" 16 month old, has allowed me to give it one more try. And I thought the one thing I had really lacked before was being more playful with my kids. So naturally, I bought this book.

The first thing I want to say is, I could only take the book in small doses. Not that it wasn't written well, but after only a little while, it started to sound all the same and I started to tune out. (I think I also read 3 novels along with this book, in the time it took me to finish this).

Having said that, I think I am really glad it took me so long to read it. The things in the book have really stayed with me.

I have always been from the school of natural consequences (and still am, really) but this book made me think about different ways to discipline and the reasons behind the acting out in the first place (generally a disconnect somewhere- He has a great analogy of the child's cup needing to be filled with love and connection).

I don't agree with a previous review about it being for kids over 3. In fact I think this would a be a GREAT gift for a baby shower.

I have an example from just last night. My husband came home from work. My 16 month old is a real daddy's girl, but last night she for the first time did not rush over to him to be picked up. In fact she wouldn't go to him at all. Before reading this book, I wouldn't have thought much about this. My husband started to get a little irritated "Ok, fine I'll just eat dinner, I'm starving blah, blah blah..". I immediately said, "she is feeling rejected because she doesn't get to see you much during the week, so she is doing the only thing she can with her 16 month old mind, she is rejecting you first." Where the heck did that come from? Also I said that if we let this go tonight, it would just get worse every night and pretty soon she would saying, Daddy who?

So I said, "You really need to get down on the floor and connect with her, now, so we can stop this in its tracks" So he did and said, "Ok now what?" cause she still would not even look at him. I did the first thing that came to mind. I took the nearest piece of cloth I could find (a placemat) and did the "where's Daddy?" peek-a-boo. Magic. She started giggling and playing with him and the evening was saved.

Duh, simple you say? Yeah, maybe. That is was playful parenting is all about. But I really would not have thought to do that if I had not read the book. My husband thought I was a genius (Ok, I didn't tell him I got it from the book!)

One more thing. The author really gets that playing with the kids can be boring, time consuming, and worse. And he talks about his mistakes in this process too. He does not in any way talk down to the reader.
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