Friday, March 23, 2012

A little bit of roughhousing goes a long way!

This is just a snippet of our friday morning, a time when our daughter is in school and our 3 year old gets to have his "Tata time"...

I am in the living room trying to read a 446 page article on Young Children’s Representations of Emotions and Attachment in Their Spontaneous Patterns of Behaviour: An Exploration of a Researcher’s Understanding while my boys are rough housing in the background.

Milos: wie is de wrestle kampion? (who is the wrestling champion?)
Boris: "honey help!
Milos: "mama kan je niet helpen!" (mama cannot help you)

No wonder I am still at page 12 :))

Whenever, there is the opportunity I always ask my husband to take Milos to our bed and do some roughhousing with him. It's not that we're stereotyping roughhousing as only for the "boys" but our daughter also gets her fair share of "wrestling championships" whenever time permits.

But why do we promote roughhousing?

Nowadays children are being constantly told to "behave", "sit still", "don't touch, don't move". I know that for we are sometimes guilty of those lines. But we are trying more and more to loosen the reign we have in our children and let them be more discerning on how they control their bodies and movement. Such is the case when they walk on their own and go near the edge of the sidewalk or when we are nearing a crossing. It is so tempting to yell out "stop" or grab them by their hand. But the past few days, Katie will look at me and point out "I know when to stop." That internal control and reflection is needed in a lot of tasks- saying "no" when needed, knowing when to take risks, being moral and a whole gamut of positive behaviors that I know a lot of parents would want for their children. But what does this have to do with roughhousing?

The Art of Roughhousing by Anthony DeBenedet and Lawrence J. Cohen pointed out the benefits of roughhousing in children some of which are: nurturing connections, boosting problem-solving skills, improving emotional intelligence, teaching children about morality and ethics. Their website offers suggestions on roughhousing activities to do at home.

The post on The Importance of Roughhousing with your Kids by Bret and Kate McKay from the website The Art of Manliness shared some wonderful insights on the topic of roughhousing.

As for my men in the background, the "wrestling continued, my little boy even asking for thumb wrestling, and at one point, crying was heard....sigh, but this is a snippet of our day and next time, I might just be tempted to join them. :)

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