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The Opposite of Worry: The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties and Fears Paperback – September 10, 2013
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“The Opposite of Worry is an informative resource for parents and other family members. The book is easy to read, comprehensive and notable for its many practical suggestions.”—New England Psychologist
“Good advice for parents making daily calls to the pediatrician . . . Anxiety is a full-body sport, and Cohen’s main advice is not to treat it with words but with actions. . . . Physicality is about living in the present, and for anxious people, the present is a powerful place of healing. Intended for parents of children ages 3 to 15, this book offers anecdotes and fun anti-anxiety games.”—Publishers Weekly
“Here’s the help parents of anxious children have been looking for! Dr. Cohen’s genius is in the warm and generous spirit of the strategies he outlines for parents. He grounds his playful approach in a sound explanation of how anxiety affects children, and how they heal. Parents will come away with plenty of ideas to help them develop their children’s confidence. While reading, I found myself thinking, ‘I’d like to try that for myself!’”—Patty Wipfler, founder and program director, Hand in Hand Parenting
“If you want to understand your child’s anxiety—and your own parental worries—you must read Larry Cohen’s brilliant book, The Opposite of Worry. Dr. Cohen is one of the most imaginative and thoughtful psychologists you will ever encounter. He explains how and why children become anxious and then shows how we can use empathy and play to help them escape from the terrifying dark corners of childhood. This is the most helpful book on childhood anxiety I have ever read.”—Michael Thompson, Ph.D.
“The Opposite of Worry offers a treasure trove of ideas to help children feel confident and secure. Lawrence Cohen has written a book that will help every parent of an anxious child. He describes the causes and symptoms of childhood anxiety and explains how children can overcome even the most tenacious fears in the context of a loving and playful parent/child relationship.”—Aletha Solter, Ph.D., founder, Aware Parenting, and author of Attachment Play
“This book will help you calm the storm of worrying that floods so many children and teens. Take these hard-earned lessons and make them your own. Peace and clarity in your family are just pages away!”—Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., co-author of The Whole-Brain Child
About the Author
Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist specializing in children’s play, play therapy, and parenting. He is the author of Playful Parenting and co-author, with Michael Thompson, Ph.D., and Catherine O’Neill Grace, of Best Friends, Worst Enemies and Mom, They’re Teasing Me. Dr. Cohen leads Playful Parenting workshops for parents, teachers, and child-care professionals. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with his wife, Liz. They have two grown children.
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In our case my daughter was scared I'd "disappear" and I really needed to see this from her perspective. Instead of saying there was no need to worry about that, I loved her, of course I'd be back, I really thought about it and realized if I thought she might disappear if she went to a particular place, of course I'd NEVER let her go. I'd be terrified just like she is! I conveyed this to her and told her Daddy wouldn't let me go places if I thought I might disappear, my parents wouldn't, my friends wouldn't. Also to really test the matter, for a whole week, I tried disappearing with her assistance, using magic words, etc. It never worked. So I suggested even though she worries I might, maybe she doesn't need to believe those worries.
I also pretended I was very worried she might leave me and go to the North Pole. Dr Cohen teaches you to empower the child and to make it fun. And we practiced being a little bit scared so she learned that just because you might feel a little unnerved it doesn't mean everything is going to get worse. This is keeping your child at their edge.
I feel like no matter what your situation, if your child is anxious, there will be information and ideas to help in this book. You do have to figure out how to adapt tactics and strategies to your family/situation...but that's the playful part and it's honestly fun. With mind blowing results. As all the kids went off with the teachers and my daughter went with them, (with NO apparent anxiety at the second school), I wanted to jump up and down with amazement. Dr Cohen, you have changed our lives and I'm telling EVERYONE about your book. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.