Positive, Playful Parenting


Children must play. Play is the definitive arena in which children learn. They need to play every day, ideally for hours at a time. 


Positive, playful parenting is all about prioritizing educationally and developmentally vital play and fostering a more positive parent-child relationship. The result is a deeper connection with your child and fun while nurturing it. It involves taking the time and energy to effectively impart family values and help your children learn lessons in a kind and respectful manner. 


This philosophy is based on the core belief that play is the highest form of education for children. Positive, playful parents support the development of play by becoming informed on what will most benefit their children and employing playful strategies to enrich and expand play. It is important to have a well organized and developmentally appropriate play space, as well as inspiring play props and toys.


Positive, playful parents believe that stories in films and books can be delightful springboards for the creation of an infinite number of play scenarios. Films, when used in moderation and especially when enjoyed together, are a wonderful source of inspiration for pretend play. Of course, you can never read too many books with your children!


Remembering to be playful is the secret to a solid parent-child relationship. Playful interactions with your children present subtle, savvy, and profoundly effective opportunities to impart valuable wisdom about right and wrong, developing character, and giving to others. Look for ways to compliment your children to reinforce the behaviors and attitudes that you want to see, rather than criticizing and focusing on behaviors that are undesirable. 


During an activity, “looking for the good” can make the whole experience a positive one for both you and your children. For each activity in which you choose to focus on the positive, you are that much more a positive, playful parent. 


Most attention-seeking and minor negative behaviors can be redirected through a positive interaction, and there are many effective, playful methods for teaching children to self-regulate and develop emotional awareness. 


It can be as simple as remembering to play.


Children today are not being given enough opportunities to play, and many scheduled activities are conflicting with children’s need for unstructured time. The consequences of missing out on this essential educational play can be devastating, including a lack of social awareness and coping skills, as well as an inability to self-regulate and process emotions. A lack of active and social play can wholly stunt a child’s development and educational progress. Play, fully developed and supported, is essential for optimal development.


A secure parental attachment is one of the most influential anchors a child can have in developing a strong sense of self and internal motivation. Reinforce your parent-child bond by making the effort to employ parenting strategiesthat afford more frequent positive interactions rather than negative, reactive ones. Look for ways to create family fun. Communicate with your child in ways that are especially kind, loving, respectful, or special. 


Positive, playful parents encourage positive behaviors and habits during social play and equip children with the tools they need to be responsible, kind and considerate adults.


“Play is the highest expression of 

human development in childhood, for it alone is the 

free expression of what is in a child’s soul.” 

– Friedrich Froebel


Recommended Reading: 


Psychology Today:



Raised Good: