Embracing Risky and Aggressive Play Helps Us and Our Kids

Taa-daa! Today we are celebrating our first special guest on the podcast, the wonderful Dr. Lawrence J. Cohen, psychologist and the author of Playful Parenting, The Opposite of Worry and co-author of The Art of Roughhousing. He is an expert on aggressive play.

Roughhousing or aggressive play is OK before bed



Talking Risky and Aggressive Play

Talk on this episode turns to two of Larry’s favorites styles of play – aggressive and risky play.

If you’ve ever seen your child thrash a toy to pieces, order you locked in jail or speed down a steep slope on a skateboard you are probably aware of these play types and the stress they can cause us, as parents!

  • Is our child too aggressive?
  • Will they grow up aggressive?
  • Shouldn’t we be learning something?
  • What if they get hurt?

The Aggressive Play is a Signal

When we can see these ways of playing as signals of what’s affecting a child, we can embrace them, because, as Larry says, when a child is laughing and engaged in aggressive play, we can be sure deep work is happening.

But these can be the trickier bits of play to navigate. Larry helps us address the issues that come up when our children play aggressive or downright risky.

  • What can we do with own fears when our children play aggressively?
  • Why we should be joining our children in play
  • How we can trust our children with their own risk management
  • How we can stop saying “be careful,” and start reflecting and wondering around play (or taking risks ourselves!)
  • Evaluating when you need to step in

The episode ends with some ideas of games to try with your children since play, at its heart, is all about connection.

Listen to Embracing Risky Play now.

More Tools and Support for Handling A Child’s Aggression

Dr Lawrence Cohen, "Playful Parenting", aggressive play expertYou can find Larry at Playfulparenting.com and on his Amazon page. There’s a review here of how one mom used Larry’s book The Opposite of Worry With Children on the Spectrum (a guest book review)

If you are interested in the risky play organisation Larry mentions at 14.24 you’ll find it at www.Anjiplay.com

We bumped up the playtimes post to 15 Quick Games You Can Use When Kids Challenge Your Parenting

Learn more about what causes aggression and what you can do in this class, Helping Your Child With Aggression 

Join the HandInHand Community

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You can listen to this episode and every episode on iTunes.


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