How often do you rough and tumble with your kids? In our house it happens daily as my husband and I were both bought up this way. As a result he can’t help swinging the kids around by their limbs, letting them climb on him and wrestling them to the floor. I also do it but in a less rough way partly because I’m more of a coward. Having said that I have never thought of being more gentle, believing that this kind of behaviour is good for my kids, helping them to be both playful and physical.
So I love it that rough housing has been given a seal of approval. In a new book, The Art Of Roughhousing: Good Old Fashioned Horseplay And Why Every Kid Needs It, authors Anthony T. DeBenedet, MD and Lawrence J. Cohen say roughhousing is not only good for emotional intelligence, physical strength, and motor skills, but it can ‘nurture close connections, and boost confidence. It’s especially good for girls as it makes them feel stronger that society often allows them to feel. My own 6 year old can roughhouse with the best of them. And yes it does often end in tears, and we have had a few bumps and bruises, but it’s nothing more than they’d get in the playground.
And I know some parents hate it, worried that their kids will get hurt but the reality is most kids want to roughhouse a little. It allows them to burn off energy, be playful and basically be the physical creatures they are. This can be a hard thing to acknowledge when we’re all so risk adverse these days but if you try it you’ll see (1) just how much kids thrive on it and (2) how much fun it is for everyone.
So are you a fan of roughhousing with your kids or do you hate the very thought? Let us know.