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




about larry

contact us

book reviews



parent workshops




teacher workshops

PTO lectures


social life in class












book reviews
“Pretend… that we're really gonna be late and you're really mad," Emma, daughter of psychologist and play therapist Cohen, whispered one morning, cleverly transforming their morning ritual--his grumpy attempt to get her off to preschool--into a fun game. According to Cohen, children of all ages have an ongoing need for connectedness, security and attachment; playful interaction with parents is an important way to develop such bonds. Through play, parents can help their kids develop greater confidence, express bottled up or difficult feelings, recover from daily emotional unheavals, negotiate agreements, express love and--not least--have fun. In his therapy practice, Cohen has used play to help both severely troubled and securely attached kids negotiate the daily travails of life; he demonstrates how to prevent and address serious problems with silliness and laughter. Cohen acknowledges that it is sometimes difficult for busy and harried parents to relearn play, and that playtime is both physically challenging and tiring. However, using examples from his practice, research and personal experience, he intelligently guides parents through the possibilities awaiting them if they are willing and able to loosen up. The book explores play with compassion, but is often so funny that parents will find themselves chortling out loud with recognition and anticipation. Publisher's Weekly, May 7, 2001 (starred review)

"The book is rich with ideas for using creativity to be a first-rate playmate and a first-rate parent too." Rebecca Banks Zakin, Family Life Magazine

"Psychologist Lawrence Cohen wishes he had a nickel for every time he's been called a poopyhead. He's a playful guy, so when little kids test their power by calling him a bathroom name, he says, "Shhh, don't tell anyone my secret name." Of course, the kids all laugh and shout, "Larry's secret name is Poopyhead." Then he says, "Ha-ha, I was just kidding. My real secret name is Rice Crispies Cake." The silliness breaks the tension over name-calling, the kids giggle and a bond is formed. Now, isn't that better than getting angry? Cohen, a Boston psychologist who specializes in children's play, lets civilians in on some trade secrets in his new book, Playful Parenting. It includes tips for connecting with kids, defusing power struggles, and using playfulness as an approach to discipline." Read More Cecelia Goodnow, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"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 importantly, you'll have fun." Donna Rafanello, Chicago Parent

"According to leading play therapist Lawrence Cohen, all children regardless of age have an ongoing need to feel connected, secure and attached to their parents. Boston-based Cohen -- whose book, Playful Parenting: A Bold New Way to Nurture Close Connections, Solve Behavior Problems, and Encourage Children's Confidence (Ballantine, $23.95, 320 pages), has received rave reviews from educators, pediatricians and parents alike -- thinks the answer is almost always play. 'Play is where children show us the inner feelings and experiences that they can't or won't talk about,' Cohen says. 'We need to hear what they have to say, and they need to share it. That's why we have to join children where they live, on their terms. Children don't say, 'I had a hard day at school today; can I talk to you about it?' They say, 'Will you play with me?' If we say yes, they play out what happened in the best way they know how.' " Sarah Allen,
Portland Oregonian

Larry Cohen
phone: 617-713-0568

email: larjack@playfulparenting.com

Larry Cohen
1693 Beacon Street | Brookline, MA 02445 | Tel: 617-713-0568

email: larjack@playfulparenting.com