Good Old-Fashioned Horseplay. Do Parents Need a Manual?

in Early Childhood in the News

A playful daddy crouched low on hands and knees and growled. His four young children squealed, jumped up and down, and pounced. They were saving their dog from the jaws of a mountain lion. Of course, dad was the lion and the children were heroes. The patient dog lived to see another day.

Moms, step aside. Good old-fashioned horseplay is what dads do best. This spontaneous fun with pillows, couch cushions, and imagination is actually great for children’s self-esteem and physical development.

In The Real Deal on Roughhousing, Valerie Baadh reports that roughhousing has huge developmental and social benefits. When parents have fun with rough and tumble play, they model how someone bigger and stronger holds back.

“Children learn about give and take, cause and effect, taking turns, and playing by the rules,” says Carol Kranowitz, M.A., author of The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun. “Neurologically, rough play nourishes a child’s sensory system. One cannot learn these skills by watching TV.”

But do parents need a manual?

No. Just common sense and safety guidelines for old-fashioned, simple fun.

Turn off the TV and maximize the benefits of wrestling and rolling on the floor with your little ones. The memories will last forever.

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