Playful Parenting – What, When & Why?

A gorgeous mum friend asked me last week whether I might be willing to offer a workshop or two on playful parenting to her group of Playcentre parents.

I felt really excited by her suggestion, and immediately started having ideas and making notes for what I wanted to include in the workshops!

I’m tentatively calling the workshop(s):“Play your way through parenting: For greater ease, enjoyment and emotional wellbeing”.

I’m really looking forward to introducing this topic to parents locally, and hopefully inspiring them to try different ways of playing with their kids and see the difference!

A bonus is that I’ll be immersing myself in thinking about play, and I imagine practicing a lot more of it with my boy! And I know what a positive difference this will make for us!


I’m still in the thick of putting it all together, but I thought, what better time to share some of it with you, when it is most present and alive for me?

So let’s start with, what is playful parenting?

For me, it involves:

💁🏼‍♀️ Approaching parenting with a warm, lighthearted, playful, even silly, attitude.

💁🏼‍♀️ Responding to our children’s invitations to play and following their lead.

💁🏼‍♀️ Using games deliberately and purposefully to meet our children’s underlying needs.

And when and why would we want to take a playful approach?

Well, some of the ways in which play can be used are:

💞 Proactively, to boost our children’s general sense of connection and emotional safety with us, and to prepare them for specific upcoming situations, thereby reducing the likelihood of challenging behaviour.

💞 In challenging moments, to decrease unpleasant behaviour, increase cooperation or support our children in the midst of a difficult situation (and also to shift our own states in these situations).

💞 When children have experienced something upsetting, to give them a vehicle to process and offload their uncomfortable feelings, and to regain a sense of power and confidence.

There are loads of different elements that can be used in play, and there are some that are particularly powerful that I will be telling you all about!

 I’d love to hear what comes up for you when you think of using play in this way as a parent.

 I’m going to be sharing some examples in the coming days. So if there are any particular challenges that you are curious about applying play to, please let me know and I’ll try to cover them as I go along!

 And if you would like me to offer this workshop in person at a Playcentre or other group in or around Auckland, please let me know!

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