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Will You Play With Me? Lawrence Cohen Says “Yes” in Playful Parenting

Yea! Another Attachment Mama AP Book Snapshot courtesy of Sonya Fehér, the wise and endearing voice behind Mama True: parenting as practice.  Sonya is also a contributing writer and editor for API Speaks, a columnist for and co-leader of the South Austin Chapter of Attachment Parenting International.

My vision behind AP Book Snapshots is to create an AP book summary community in which multiple mothers or fathers contribute “what you need to know” quick-read support for parents like me who would like to learn new tips for gentle, empathetic parenting and struggle to find time to get through all the great books out there. This way you can get the immediate tips you’re seeking and read the rest of the book when time allows. If you are interested in being a contributing AP Book Snapshot writer, please drop me a line.

Thank you Sonya for your fantastic contribution!

“Playful Parenting is based on an attitude of respect toward children and an attitude of wonder toward their world” (232).


If you’re a parent who has ever asked yourself, “How in the world do I deal with this?” Playful Parenting has an answer:  play.  Play out strong emotions and power struggles. Play to establish connection and build confidence. Children explore the world through play. Whether explaining how to roughhouse or “follow the giggles,” Lawrence Cohen, a psychologist specializing in children’s play, play therapy, and parenting, offers ways to connect with kids in their world in order to help them be confident, cooperative, and connected.

Though the title might imply otherwise, Playful Parenting deals with the not-so-fun parts of parenting too:  tantrums, sibling rivalry, and household chores. Through examples from Cohen’s practice and extensive research, Playful Parenting is an approach that will impact how you talk and play with, discipline and interact with your children.

“Playful parenting is a delicate balance between following a child’s lead and stepping in as guide. On one side, we let children be completely in charge of the play, in order to nurture their creativity and sense of confidence. On the other side, we actively intervene to help children get unstuck from situations that are repetitive, boring or potentially harmful” (151).

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Recommended Reading

  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Ina May Gaskin;
  • Birthing from Within, Pam England and Rob Horowitz
  • Having a Baby, Naturally, Peggy O’Mara, editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine
  • Happiest Baby on the Block & Happiest Toddler on the Block, Harvey Karp;
  • The No Cry Sleep Solution, Elizabeth Pantley;
  • Siblings without Rivalry & How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish;
  • Raising our Children, Raising Ourselves, Naomi Aldort;
  • Raising Children Compassionately, Marshal Rosenberg
  • Say What You See, Sandy Blackard (my new favorite)
  • Unconditional Parenting, Alfie Kohn
  • Playful Parenting, Lawrence J. Cohen

Within Attachment Mama, you’ll find summaries of:  Say What You See Unconditional Parenting and Playful Parenting.  I welcome your comments and additional recommended titles.

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