Playful Parenting
Have you ever stepped back to watch what really goes on when your children play? As psychologist Lawrence J. Cohen points out, play is children’s way of exploring the world, communicating deep feelings, getting close to those they care about, working through stressful situations, and simply blowing off steam. That’s why “playful parenting” is so important and so successful in building strong, close bonds between parents and children. Through play we join our kids in…

When it comes to becoming a parent, Bryan Caplan is the best. I stand by that. His writing on family economics at Econlog and his book Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids had a profound impact on the attitude with which I approached starting a family.

His words have stayed with me as my children have grown and I continue to find in them a source of inspiration; however, once I committed to staying at home full-time with the kids, I began casting a much wider net, and I now have a dozen books on parenting in my library.

After reconnecting with one of the classics from his archive, I started to hear some conflicting voices echoing amongst my thoughts on fatherhood. In particular, there was a definite brouhaha around responding to bad behavior.

Back in November, I read Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. It was probing and challenging, and it set me back on my heels. My attempts to regain my balance since confronting his arguments have been stumbling, unsteady and uncomfortable for both me and Mrs. BPR. Still, I can't unread it, and I wouldn't want to.

Thoughts of unconditional love recalled the idea of Unconditional Parenting, and I wondered if Caplan and Kohn had ever crossed paths. Turns out that they have and that Caplan is not a fan.

I don't know what I was expecting, but for some reason I was surprised to find such disagreement. It stopped me in my tracks as I considered this new crossroads. Googling "alfie kohn unconditional parenting criticism" brought me to a thread on the DC Urban Moms and Dads forum.

There were several book recommendations, but one that kept popping up was Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen. I was hooked by the endorsements of the practical advice it contained, so I got it; I'm reading it, and now, if you want, you can follow along with me as I build my first Butter Passing Book Review.