Playful Parenting: Part Two

I feel like I'm slogging through this book. Slow going. And skimming a just seems redundant sometimes.

A bit too much theory. And a significant focus on play used as therapy.

It is hard, I'm sure, to write a book that addresses everything. A time to play and a time to discipline. A time to train and a time to wrestle. Sometimes these intersect. But I believe, more often than not, these are isolated events.

This week, I've been thinking about feelings of powerlessness vs feelings of confidence and competence. It has a lot to do with whether the parent is providing enough boundaries or not. Or too many.
"When parents are scared or annoyed by this growing independence and assertiveness, they may crack down too hard, squashing the child's spirit."
"If parents don't provide any limits, and the toddler rules the roost, the child can feel out of control, a different type of powerlessness."
"The middle ground is to recognize and even enjoy the burst in independence, while providing the safety and structure of clear limits."
Easier said than done!

What limits should I place on creative play? No more pulling the couches and chairs all over the house? Only three cushions can come off for stepping stones or walls? 

Should tooth brushing be a hold-em-down affair? Or an independent, half-done job?

I certainly don't 'enjoy' the burst of independence that comes when he only wants to eat yogurt and granola and none of the food I spent time preparing.
What limits are good and helpful? When should independence be encouraged?

Quotations from Playful Parenting by Lawrence J Cohen