Category: Playlistening

A Shark Attack on my Child’s Feelings

I took my boys, 6 and 7, to the Museum of Natural History to see a 3D movies about marine dinosaurs. The youngest is especially sensitive to traumatic events in movies and games, so I had checked that the movie’s rating was age-appropriate. However, instead of having an impersonal nature movie, the plot was a

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A Playful Response to Helping Children Share

How long can we simply BE with our children, lighting the way to reconnection, without rushing to solve “the problem”? My daughter and her friend were playing well one day until they both wanted the same blue scarf. They came to me for help, their voices raised, as they both desired to be heard. I

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Work Through Dangerous Fears with Laughter

Hey! Do you want to play, “You cross the street and then I come along and run you over?” So, my 4-year-old son and I were about to exit the gated park and walk to our car. I noticed he was a little bit off track, but I didn’t want to take the time to

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How Raspberries Cured After-School Stress

After school, my son was clearly off track and needing to offload some feelings. He had been at his little brother since he got in the car, and then on the way home, he started calling me “stupid.” Normally, being called stupid is very restimulating for me, but I had been working on it with my

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Jack and the Rude Beanstalk

After a prolonged illness, my 6-year-old was full of feelings and energy. I could tell by the way he was quick to anger, quick to become indignant, and generally by what hard work it was to parent him! I was recovering myself, and hadn’t found many opportunities to be playful. However, last night, I was

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Confessions of a Parenting by Connection Nanny: Part I

On the one hand, I realize the important role a nanny plays in a child’s life; the effects of which–for better or for worse–will stay with the child for many years to come. On the other hand, as I have seen with every nanny job I have had:  I am that “bad” person who represents the

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Facing Water Fears Through Play

My son had been going to swimming lessons for a few months.  His first 2 months he improved markedly each week, trying new things and being comfortable in the water.  He would allow his teachers to guide his head under the water when swimming from one are to another, but would never do it voluntarily

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Roughhousing Helps My Daughter with Math

The math work itself wasn’t too hard, only the tension she was carrying made it seem too difficult. By allowing her to take the more powerful position in our play she was able to work through the tension so it could dissolve and her intelligence could flow again.

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100 Kisses for My Teen

My teen was home from college for her first short visit and I wanted to connect with her in a close way. I knew she was in the process of learning to be independent, and I wanted to respect her freedom and the personal growth she had achieved. I had read about giving 100 kisses

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Turning Bathtime Tantrums Into Laughter and Cooperation

~ From Certified Instructor Julie Johnson One evening my two year-old son seemed grouchy and irritable.  From the time that we arrived home from school, nothing was right.  He was unhappy with his snack, dinner was not what he wanted, and he was frustrated with his toys.  I decided to try some playlistening with him

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Special Time – A Double Bonus for Kids and Parents

It’s funny how a little Special Time with your child can do wonders for both you and your child. One afternoon when I was feeling somewhat low-key with many pressing issues on my mind, my then 10-year-old preteen daughter asked me for some Special Time.  She wanted to wrestle with me.  I wasn’t quite ready

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Creating Safety for Tough Feelings

A few months ago I became a nanny for a 2 1/2 year old adopted Korean boy.  I believe the parents adopted him when he was 17 months old.  Prior to this time, he was in a foster home. I watched him about 4 or 5 times before becoming his nanny.  From the very beginning,

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How to See When Your Child is Disconnected

I was teaching a Playful Parenting class one night and the topic was how we notice when our children disconnected. One mom volunteered to come up and demonstrate what her son acts like when he is disconnected. She got to move her body a lot and ‘feel’ what it might feel like for him. We all

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