The book Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD opens the door to the wonderful world of your child’s play by exploring the importance of different types of play. This book shows parents (and other adults) how to join in with your children, on their level, in order to communicate with them in a way they can understand.
Children often have difficulty expressing their emotions. This is because they do not understand them and do not have the vocabulary to explain what they are feeling. Therefore, children act out their emotions through their play. The book shows that, by engaging more actively and purposefully in your child’s play you can begin to develop a stronger bond while learning about their world. Children struggle with many of the same difficulties that many adults face every day (ie. self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy, powerlessness, difficulty connecting to peers, controlling impulses, maintaining focus, feelings of anxiety, anger etc.) and it is our job as parents and adults to, as Lawrence Cohen puts it, “fill up their cup.” Through engaging in play with adults, specifically parents, a child can develop self-esteem, confidence, self-control, connection and work through their problems. This book provides easy to follow examples and techniques of how to engage in play for specific purposes or just for the emotional connection of a parent/child relationship. If you are looking to build or maintain a strong connection, are concerned about the content of your child’s play or want to communicate with you child on a more basic level that they can understand while also having fun; this is the book for you. It empowers the parent and the child and shows us all a new way to engage in parenting that is more beneficial for our children and incorporates a little fun.