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We're talking about the many ways real parents can use Hand in Hand Parenting tools and what that looks like day to day, at your house and at our houses too.

Mar 27, 2018

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.

Talking 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 Play is a Symbol

When we can see these ways of playing as symbols 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 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.

More Tools and Support for Handling A Child's Aggression

You can find Larry at 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 organization Larry mentions at 14.24 you'll find it at

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 

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