Book Review: Playful Parenting

Describe techniques for coping with younger parts, for meeting their needs, and for communicating effectively with them.

Book Review: Playful Parenting

Postby JigsawAnalogy on Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:07 pm

Playful Parenting, by Denise Chapman Weston and Mark Weston

My partner and I picked this book up at a yard sale quite a while ago, before I was diagnosed with DID. We were beginning to think about having our own children, and as I skimmed the book, I noticed some ideas that seemed like they would be helpful for coping with my younger brother, who was living with us at the time.

I recently came across the book again, and as I read it, I realized that there are a lot of suggestions in there that are great for coping with the different parts of a system. It changes the dynamic from one where adults (or adult parts) give orders and expect children to comply. It's far more flexible, and gives a range of suggestions for different things to do. Those things are often humorous or a little silly--playful, in fact.

One thing that really appealed to me is that it is designed to be more like a cookbook than a rule book. They suggest flipping through to whatever is your "problem" at the moment, and choosing a strategy ("recipe") that seems as though it will help. If that doesn't work, no worries, you can try something else.

Another really useful thing about the book is that the last several pages (at least in the edition I have) are a list of different "strengths" that a child might have. These come into play in some of the recipes in the book, because they encourage parents to praise children for their strengths. That list is also incredibly useful for reframing things children do (or child parts, or really, any part) that might otherwise seem like problems. It's almost as though the authors are saying that any problem can turn into an asset.

I've found it useful to approach dealing with child parts in some ways as though I were dealing with external children. Partly, this is useful for me because I am more understanding and nurturing towards children who live outside of my body (although I'm getting better with the internal ones). But it's also useful because I've found that many of the parenting tips just plain *work* on the younger parts of my system. (Shh, don't tell them I said this, but it also works on the teenaged parts, and some of the strategies work pretty well on my non-DID partner!)

Who says there is anything wrong with being crazy, anyhow?
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