Get your “strokes” here

TA for Kids coverTA for Kids
Powerful techniques for developing self-esteem

Anyone heard of the book Games People Play or I’m Okay, You’re Okay or the term “TA”? I ask because when I explained to Holly about this awesome old book she thought I was talking about “t!ts and ass.”  She wondered if this post would be SFW . Sorry to disappoint, but it isn’t that kind of T and A. (Click here to read the Wikipedia article about TA.) In the 60s and 70s, this was THE pop psychology idea of the time. I had a teacher as an undergrad that was a complete convert to the TA lifestyle.  Every class was about games, “strokes,” and if we were “okay”.  He talked like this all the time, complete with touching and hugs. It was awful.

So here we have this book.  All for the kids. Probably a great purchase for the 1970s, but I can’t imagine anyone having a TA parenting style today. (The jargon alone is weed-worthy.) I will say that probably Games People Play or I’m Okay, You’re Okay are probably keepers for a large psychology collection, but  this one probably can be tossed without too much fanfare.  Psychology people, please weigh in on TA for the modern collection. I know I have a bias, and probably a mild case of PTSD from my exposure in 1979.


TA for Kids back cover

Warm Fuzzies and Cold Pricklies

Cold Pricklies

An Anger Racket



  1. Kid of the 70s here. I remember all this. I think we did some TA type stuff in school…I remember “warm fuzzies” and “cold pricklies.”

  2. Bits of this were still hanging on in the early 80s. In kindergarten the counselor told us a story about “warm fuzzies” and “cold pricklies”, and handed out “warm fuzzy” toy rings.

  3. Oh, we so had this when I was little! My mother began rethinking the whole “I’m OK, You’re OK” ethos, though, when I begged her to give me some warm fuzzies in front of guests once.

  4. Oh, that’s where “warm fuzzies” comes from? I was born in the 70s, so by the time I got into elementary school TA must have been fizzling out; I don’t remember hearing about “cold pricklies,” but “warm fuzzies” has stuck around, although I think its use was (and is) less specific to TA and more generic in its meaning.

  5. Oh man, we totally did all this when I was a kid. We had a book called TA for Tots (I assume the younger version or perhaps previous edition of this one?) and it was used heavily at the church we attended. There were warm fuzzy and cold prickly puppets involved, though I think I’ve blocked a lot of it out.

  6. Weird! I was just thinking of my childhood reading of TA for Tots and TA for Teens at a webinar today. A brain scientist was saying that studies show teens respond better to rewards than punishment. So, these things can be cyclical, though nobody would use the term “strokes” in that way now! I do find TA really helpful in work situations, though.

  7. Haha, I had no idea what TA was supposed to stand for, but I definitely remember a story about warm fuzzies and cold pricklies from when I was little! Details, not so much. I think maybe we used puffballs to make warm fuzzies to give to people? That was a looooong time ago now (mid eighties would have been early elementary years for me).

  8. I remember “I’m OK, You’re OK” as an adult in the ’70s. I still have my paperback copy. I can remember that I thought it had some good insights at the time but I can’t remember any actual content from the book.

  9. I had TA for Tots – I agree that this one should probably be weeded but I might look the other way just because it’s actually a fond book-memory

  10. Woah, thanks for the weird memory, ALB! I grew up in the late 80s-early 90s, but there were still a handful of adults out there who were beating the TA drum. I know all this jargon without having any distinct idea of where I picked it up.

  11. This is a super confusing book for terminology. TA makes me think of “teacher’s assistant”. Some students might have those and be confused too. Also medical strokes were a thing even then, so I don’t know what they were thinking trying to use it as a term in their book.

  12. As a child of the early eighties — oh my god. This is where the the warm fuzzies and cold pricklies came from? Wow. Just… wow. I thought this was just my teacher.

  13. I don’t remember any of this aside from hearing “Warm Fuzzies” and “I’m OK, You’re OK” here and there. But who would ever want to be just OK?

  14. I remember hearing a story about Warm Fuzzies and Cold Pricklies in school, and that must have been the mid-90s. Never knew it was a “thing,” though.

  15. I recall “warm fuzzies” from primary school in the early 1990s. I also did not know it was a “thing.” Then again, we were still drawing in country borders through the vast “USSR” blob in 1994, and there is a good chance they were reproduced on a ditto machine.

  16. In British English, ‘ta’ means ‘thanks’. It sounds like a book on manners for kids.

  17. We use “warm fuzzies” for my 5 year old son. They are actual fuzzies that I bought at the craft store and he has to earn them by doing things that make someone feel “warm and fuzzy”. Like saying please, thank you, yes/no sir/ma’am, doing chores and the like. I never in a million years knew that it was part of a 1970’s psyco-pop movement, we just thought it was a nice visual representation of how he makes us feel. When he fills the jar, he gets to do something fun.

  18. I grew up in the 70s but this is way out of my sphere of experience. Probably as my mom was more of an old-fashioned “spare the rod (or in her case, the belt) and spoil the child” kind of mom. The closest I came to this sort of thing was my second grade teacher playing us the soundtrack from Free to Be, You and Me, or perhaps the Most Important Person cartoons.

  19. I remember this book vaguely although I agree that maybe we shouldn’t be giving out fuzzies or pricklies to our students. That’s a felony in some states. By the way, is the little peanut just going to stand there and watch the kid being beaten?

  20. Wow. It looks like T.A. for Tots sold well. I thought I was the only adult still carrying the scars of Prinzes and Frozzes around inside me.

    As I recall, before we were born we were Prinzes, and lived in an exalted land where all our needs were met, which veers dangerously close to religion.

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