A Bold New Way to Nurture Close Connections, Solve Behavior Problems, and Encourage Children's Confidence




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Some parent success stories
"I have a personal parenting goal to get at least one long belly laugh out of each of my kids every day. It really seems to drain the stress out of them, and it makes me feel like a good mom."

"With all I have going on I never just want to sit and play. But when I do, it's so rewarding. My 4yo's favorite thing to do with me is play that she's the mommy and I'm the little girl. Boy, do I get an earful when she acts like me! It makes me cringe sometimes! But it's also a great way to find out what's going on in her head."

"I've had your playful parenting approaches in the back of my mind ever since we met. I had a minor success last night, and wrote about it on my blog (weblog):click here

A parent writes:

"Playful Parenting had a dramatic impact on a frustrating situation I had with my 4 year old son. I was very confused by his repeated slamming of the refrigerator. He knew I didn't like it. He knew why I didn't like it (stuff would break and had actually broken one time in the past). And, he still did it. I started to read in Playful Parenting that children benefit from experiencing anger in a playful way. So, one day, after he had done it for the hundredth time, I yelled, "DID YOU SLAM THE REFRIGERATOR" with a slight smile on my face.

He nodded yes and I went into a comical tirade about how crazy and mad I was about him slamming the refrigerator. He started cracking up laughing! So I continued with my tirade. I have to admit, I was uncomfortable at first because I am a very low key person and I don't yell much. But, it was clear from his reaction that exactly what he needed was to see me playfully angry. It happened a few more times. I would do the exact same comically angry reaction. Soon, instead of actually slamming the refrigerator, he would just say to me, "I slammed the refrigerator." And, I would do my routine. We did that for months! We use Playful Parenting in so many areas now. But, that was the first and it was so clear what he needed once I acted playfully. It is so beautiful now, we have code words when he wants to see me silly angry."

Another parent writes:

A couple of months ago my 11 year old son declared he didn't want to be in school band anymore. When I probed, it turned out it was because he didn't like the music he had to learn & was finding it difficult. I encouraged him to talk about it, and listened for a while, but also commented that having difficulty with a piece of music was not a reason to stop, and to consider what a sense of achievement he would feel if he could master it. I mostly listened, and didn't pressure him at all. (Actually, I really didn't want him to quit, but I tried to keep my feelings out of it).

A few days later I was sitting with him while he was practicing his flute and after a while suggested he practice the piece he didn't like. He complained a bit, but started to do it. I held the music for him and did a "formal" introduction to the piece, reading the name and composer etc. in the kind of breathless, respectful voice you hear classical music radio announcers use (well, you do in Australia, don't know about the US). He thought it was very funny and insisted I read every word on the page, including copyright and publishing info, page number, and words within the music score.

After he'd gone through it once - and I'd applauded and appreciated how well he played - I suggested he do it again. He said he would, if I could remember every word on the page without looking at it. We spent about half an hour with me trying to memorize the page and him laughing and being bossy and not letting me see it for more than a few seconds at a time. I remembered, while this was happening, that one of the things he'd complained about earlier was that if one person in band got something wrong, they would have to start the whole piece again - it was clear he was replaying this with me.

After a while, he'd put a piece of his flute away for every failed attempt on my part. He ended up not having to play it again, because I couldn't memorize the words, but since that day he has mastered the piece of music and never again said he wanted to quit band. In fact, a couple of weeks ago when he wasn't feeling well on the morning of band practice and I suggested he go to school late, he said "But I LOVE band, why would I want to miss it?"!

I was very pleased with myself and thought it was a great illustration of how well playful parenting works. It didn't even take very much of my time and was a low stress solution.

Larry Cohen
Tel/Fax: 617-713-0568

phone: larjack@playfulparenting.com

Larry Cohen
1680A Beacon Street | Brookline, MA 02445 | Tel/Fax: 617-713-0568

email: larjack@playfulparenting.com