From My Bookshelf: The Art Of Roughhousing

Why do some kids seeCover-art of roughhousingm to love rough play? Sometimes, they play so aggressively other children get hurt.

You might be surprised to learn that these children have no intention of hurting other kids. In fact, they don’t think they’re doing anything wrong. They can’t understand why they are constantly getting into trouble on the playground. They wonder why their playmates run away.

What can you do if your child plays too “rough”? 

The Art of Roughhousing, by Anthony T. DeBenedet, MD, and Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD, is one of my favorite books, one I recommend to all parents, not only those with children with this behavioral challenge.

Written by an internist and a psychologist specializing in children’s therapy, The Art of Roughhousing explains the crucial role of roughhousing and physical play in children’s development.  Besides the physical gains like improved strength and endurance, rough-and-tumble play is an important part of emotional, social, and academic development. It provides benefits including increased confidence, body awareness, and problem-solving skills.

For children who have difficulty regulating and controlling their level of physical contact on the playground, rough-and-tumble play at home with parents and siblings is a great way to release excess energy. Another benefit: children engage in fun, bonding activities with their role model (you!) and learn the unspoken rules of roughhousing in a supportive environment.

The great thing about this book is that the authors provide dozens of activities you’ll want to try at home. They’re for all ages and difficulty levels.

The authors describe their mission: “What was once a motto of Safety First has evolved into a fretful new motto of Safety Only. Many parents are more frightened by skinned knees and bruised feelings than life’s real dangers: stifled creativity and listless apathy.”

Even if you haven’t engaged in physical play in a while, don’t be afraid to try the activities in this book! Hands-on play with kids is a great way to develop young bodies and minds. And, playing with your child strengthens your relationship with him. Plus, it’s fun.

You may enjoy The Art of Roughhousing as much as your kids.

Have you read the book or seen some benefits of rough and tumble play with your child? If so, please share your comments. 

Feature photo credit: arztsamui

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