Here are some quick bullet points up to page 15. What are your thoughts or what stood out to you reading these pages?
- Playful Parenting is a way to enter a child's world, on the child's terms, in order to foster closeness, confidence, and connection.
- Playful Parenting can happen anywhere and anytime, not just during designated playtimes.
- 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 talk.
> 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.
> The third purpose of play for children, and perhaps the one that is most uniquely human, is to recover from emotional distress.
- If you are frustrated because you have to remind your child for the twelfth 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 ger her attention.
- Games like peekaboo, hide-and-seek, and tag all play with the idea of closeness and distance.
- Sometimes children do not connect or reconnect so easily. They may feel so isolated that they retreat into a corner, or come out aggressively with both arms swinging. They may be annoying, obnoxious, or downright infruriating as they try desperately to signal us that they need more connection. These situations call for creating more playtime, not doling out punishment or leaving the lonely child all alone.
- The most common response by parents to children's isolation is aggravation or worry. We may focus on the annoying behavior, not seeing the pain underneath, or we see the pain all too clearly and feel helpless to fix it. What we need are keys to unlock the door to that fortress of isolation and help the child out again into the fiels of play. Playful Parenting provides those keys.
- Though playing doctor and other forms of sexual exploration are often difficult for adults to handle, it is really just a special case of "playing house".
- Older children define play as whatever you do with your friends. Toddlers and preschoolers define play as doing whatever you choose.
- Children who are frustrated too much, or are unable to use play to master their world, retreat into what I call the power of powerlessness. Locked inside this tower, unable to play freely, they may appear weak and helpless. Or they may bounce off the tower walls, looking wild and reckless, even aggressive, but feeling powerless underneath.