Available in eBook, paperback, and hardcover.
- Are you the parent or caregiver of a child between 3 and 10 years old?
- Are you looking for ways to support your child’s healthy growth and development?
- Would you like to strengthen your relationship with your child?
- Are you interested in learning some practical parenting skills?
My book may be of interest to you.
Please Note: To simplify things, I use the term “parents” to include not only biological parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, and step-parents, but also any other caring adult who has a relationship with the child, for example, aunts, uncles, grandparents, other extended family members, or caregivers.
Parents are extremely busy and often have limited time available for play. Parents may be unaware of how easy and enjoyable parent-child play can be after learning a few simple skills. Teaching parents these simple skills are what I strive to do with my book.
As a parent, grandparent, and retired clinical counsellor and play therapist, I offer a unique perspective on parent-child play that combines real-life practical experience as a parent and grandparent with formal academic training and professional clinical experience in child and play therapy.
My book contains guidelines for parents or caregivers of children, ages 3 to 10 years old, on effective ways of playing with their children. The guidelines explain how parents can interact and connect with their children through parent-child play activities that will:
- support healthy child development
- strengthen the parent-child relationship
- help parents develop new skills
With this book I strive to increase awareness of the importance of parent-child play.
One of my main goals for this book is to increase awareness and inform parents of the unique benefits of parent-child play, which is different than children’s play with other children or children’s independent play. Parents and other adults are able to offer unique benefits in a playtime context because of their maturity. With this book, I identify the numerous benefits of parent-child play that support and encourage healthy child development and strengthen the parent-child relationship.
We have learned from recent research that children need many positive, face-to-face interactions with their parents in order for healthy growth and development. Play activities between parent and child are some of the best ways parents can provide these positive, face-to-face interactions.
Parent-child play is also one of the best ways to build and strengthen the parent-child relationship. When parents play with their children, they are providing them with all the positive benefits of play in general. Time spent in play with their children can be one of the most beneficial and valuable things parents can provide.
With this book I provide a framework for understanding parent-child play.
My intent with this book is to highlight to parents a fundamental and extremely important distinction about parent-child play. This distinction, well-known in the field of play therapy, focuses on whether to take on a directive or a nondirective role when interacting with children. Distinguishing between these two roles has not always been made clear to parents, and this is what I strive to do with this book.
Rather than just providing a list of parent-child play activities as many parenting books do, in order to simplify a topic that could be very complex, I provide a framework for understanding parent-child play that can be applied to any play activity.
This framework is based on two distinct “roles” that parents can take on during playtime: either a directive role or a nondirective role. To get into either of these roles, parents will use specific “skills” from a set of nine practical parental skills that I outline.
When parents take on a directive role for a style of parent-child play called Parent-Directed Playtime, they will structure the playtime to support and guide their children. When parents take on a nondirective role for a style of parent-child play called Child-Directed Playtime, they will provide their children with opportunities to lead and direct the play. Both styles of play are distinctive and I show how each contributes unique benefits to healthy child and parent relations.
With this book I support parents by providing information on how they can play effectively with their children.
When I was working as a play therapist, some parents would tell me they felt bored and uninterested in playing with their children. Other parents would report they didn’t know how to play with their children and felt confused about what to do in a play situation. Some parents reported feeling frustrated playing with their children and found it difficult to play when their children were resistant and not engaging with them in the play. Some parents told me they felt anxious playing with their children for fear of things getting out of control.
There have been minimal guidelines in the past on how parents can play effectively with their children. One of my goals for this book is to support parents by providing information and guidelines on how to play effectively with their children. Although there have been many parenting books published, there have been few that have focused on skills that parents can learn and use to play and connect with their children to support healthy child development.
My book provides a set or “toolbox” of nine practical skills that parents can use to facilitate parent-child play. I not only describe each of the nine skills in detail and the reasons for using them, I also provide many examples of what parents can specifically say to their children in a wide variety of playtime situations. In this book, I provide parents with specific tools and skills to use to make playtime with their children more fun and enjoyable, which will ultimately increase parents’ confidence levels.
Available in eBook, paperback, and hardcover.
Why buy this book?
The guidelines outlined in this book are based on well-researched approaches from the child development, attachment, and play therapy fields.
I have structured this book so it is easy to read and understand with lots of helpful tips, practical examples, fun activities, and step-by-step instructions provided. Each of the nine skills parents use in playtime are outlined individually and can be learned one-at-a-time whenever convenient for parents.
Information on how to set up a play area and what toys and materials to include in the play area is included.
The skills parents learn in this book can be used indoors or outdoors, and at home or away from home. There is no need to purchase special toys or materials. Toys and materials that families already have are all that are required.
Once parents understand how to use the play skills in a playtime situation, I show how these skills can be used outside of a playtime context in real-life situations. The skills parents learn for playtime are parenting skills that can easily be generalized to situations outside of playtime, so that their numerous benefits can be accessed in non-play situations as well.
One of my goals for this book is to make parent-child playtime easier and more manageable for busy parents so they can more easily fit it into a busy lifestyle. Throughout the book, I emphasize that shorter parent-child playtimes, sometimes even three to five minutes long, can be very beneficial. Although longer playtimes of thirty minutes or more are wonderful and are encouraged whenever possible, they can often be difficult to fit into a busy family lifestyle.
The guidelines for play I present would be appropriate for any culture and are based on universal principles of healthy human interactions that include empathy, respect, and boundary-setting.
Although this book is targeted for play with children between 3 and 10 years old, the guidelines and concepts presented in this book can be adapted to children under 3 years old and over 10 years old by modifying the toys and materials provided and the activities engaged in.
The guidelines outlined in my book will support healthy child and family development and are appropriate for most any family. Children or families do not need to be experiencing difficulties or suffering from problems to benefit from my book.
Finally, I want to let you know that one of my main goals with this book is to raise awareness of the importance of parent-child play that is child-directed as opposed to parent-directed. Even though parent-child play that is parent-directed is used by many parents and is very healthy, I believe that the many special benefits of parent-child play that is child-directed are often underestimated. With this book, I emphasize that a child-directed style of play can be very powerful and has many benefits, not only for strengthening the parent-child relationship, but also facilitating a child’s self-expression and helping a child with building independence skills and self-esteem. I believe it is important for every child to be able to experience this kind of parent-child play.
What Will You Learn?
- You will learn about the benefits of play in general, and the unique benefits of parent-child play.
- You will learn about two separate parental roles to take on in playtime, the directive role and the nondirective role, that will support you in facilitating two beneficial, but different, styles of parent-child play, Parent-Directed Playtime and Child-Directed Playtime.
- You will learn nine practical playtime skills to use to facilitate either Child-Directed Playtime or Parent-Directed Playtime with your child.
- You will learn the differences between Child-Directed Playtime and Parent-Directed Playtime and when to use each style.
How will you benefit from this book?
This book will show you how to engage in play with your child, so that you are able to:
- Provide your child with positive attention and an environment of acceptance
- Support your child’s needs, but not take over
- Attune emotionally to and understand your child better
- Encourage your child to problem-solve and use their imagination
- Support your child in developing healthy emotional regulation skills
- Encourage and empower your child
- Help your child feel safe and secure
- Enter your child’s special play world to deepen your relationship with your child
- Feel more confident playing with your child
- Better understand your child’s play
Available in eBook, paperback, and hardcover.