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About Author Karen Thurm Safran on Playful Parenting

author Karen Thurm Safran on playful parentingHi there! I’m Karen, a mom who loves playful parenting and is super close to my two grown kids. Enjoy every minute because it goes by fast… my daughter and son are now in their twenties.

I’ve spent my life immersed in playful parenting, and I love making learning fun.

For over twenty years, I’ve worked in K-12 Ed Tech (Education Technology) engaging kids in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). When my children were young, I structured my career to be home each afternoon. We spent a lot of time together.

Let’s get real. While parenting is rewarding, it’s also stressful.

Using playful parenting on a snarky boy with big impish smile

Like those times when your child is uncooperative, argues, and throws a tantrum. When you rapidly blink away tears before they stream down your face. Sound familiar?

I remember those overwhelming, disheartening, downright exasperating days. And being divorced made it especially difficult since I could no longer depend on another adult in the house to help. Nope, I was on my own.

To make matters worse, I was a stressed-out single parent. I had to do something.

So, What Did I Do?

Luckily, my parents set a positive example with playful parenting. Instead of nagging and yelling, they incorporated playfulness. They embraced a “can do!” spirit, used their imagination, and created games to turn around challenging moments.

When I became a mom, I experienced firsthand the benefits of this positive, playful approach. It made parenting more fun, empowered my kids, and connected our family. Goodbye annoying power struggles. (Did I mention that one of my kids is VERY strong-willed!)

This playful strategy was a key technique I used from my parenting toolset.

Playful parenting with kids on stairs with boxers on head

See this photo? I clearly remember that day. There were piles of laundry, but my kids wanted me to play with them.

So, what did I do? I made a game of it.

I reached into the laundry basket and pulled out two of my son’s clean bathing suits. Then plop, they went on my kids’ heads. The result? Putting away laundry was never so much fun!

Why I Wrote this Book

After growing a K-12 technology program, I pursued my childhood dream of writing a book. People always say to write about something you love, so what better topic than playful parenting!

Welcome my third child: ParentingLet’s Make a Game of It.  Through relatable, light-hearted stories, you’ll learn how to turn everyday frustrating moments into fun learning experiences.

Woman surrounded by books on playful parenting

Fun Facts About My Book

  • Show don’t tell- Instead of the traditional how-to parenting book, this uses a “show don’t tell” storytelling style. You’re immersed “in the room” with the mom, hear her frustrations, and see how she playfully problem-solves. This hands-on approach is a powerful way to learn.
  • Entertains and inspires- It reads like fiction, and the stories are designed to spark your own playfulness.
  • Been there! The tone is down-to-earth and the situations are relatable.
  • Only 5-10 minutes- That’s how long it takes to read a story. Super quick for super-busy parents. Read when waiting or during glimpses of free time.
  • Flexible- Read the stories in any order based on your challenge.
  • Teaches coping techniques- Learn CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) techniques that my kids and I found helpful.
  • Don’t forget school-age kids! Toddlers aren’t the only ones who cause power struggles! Learn organizational tricks to help manage school work and make learning fun.

Fun Facts About Me

  • I grew up in Boston but moved to California after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. But hey, I consider myself a Californian since I’ve lived there for more than half my life.
  • My mission is to make learning fun for kids… just like my parents did with me. So after graduating with an MBA from Santa Clara University, I started working in EdTech.
  • LOL, I was not a tech lover when I moved to Silicon Valley but look at me now. I’ve spent my career in EdTech engaging kids in STEM learning.
  • I’ve worked for many innovative companies, including Apple, iD Tech summer programs, and I now consult for cutting-edge EdTech companies.
  • Guess which is my all-time favorite job? Yup, being a mom. As a parent, I get to apply my problem-solving, organizational, and leadership skills to empower those I love most—my kids.
  • When my kids were in college, I started a tradition of visiting them each quarter. We still continue this tradition today! Okay, my son only lives an hour’s drive away, and I can hop on a quick airplane flight to see my daughter, but I cherish that they want to spend time with little ole me.

So next time you’re feeling frustrated and overwhelmed…

Playful Parenting Karen Thurm Safran

And you don’t know what to do…

Karen Thurm Safran playful parenting

Spark your playful spirit and create games to ease challenging moments.

Karen Thurm Safran

Cheaper than a month of Disney+… and just as magical.

Buy Now

Only $5.99 (Kindle) and $7.99 (paperback).

Check out the glowing 5-star Amazon reviews or take a sneak peek at the book.