Why We Should Roughhouse with Our Kids

Mar, 02, 2018

By Fredrica Syren:

My two boys are getting into wrestling and can play for hours. I’m not too surprised since they enjoy rough play with both their dad and me. In my kids’ minds, the louder and wilder, the better.

Roughhousing is not always looked upon as a good thing. How often do we hear a parent say, “No wrestling, guys” or “We don’t want anyone to get hurt”?

Rough play or wrestling might be something we as parents feel is not a good idea; however, it’s an important part of a child’s development. Roughhousing with kids teaches them to manage and deal with pain. Of course this does not mean you should intentionally hurt your child, but during wrestling or roughhousing, bumps and scrapes happen, which helps them understand that it’s ok. It also teaches children about failure because, during roughhousing, usually one person is on top. It’s important to make them work for a victory, whether it’s trying to run past you or to escape from your grip and find a safe place. This will teach them strategy without feeling as if they have failed.

One very important lesson children learn from roughhousing is boundaries. What better way to teach children what is ok and what is not, and how to stop when someone says “ouch” or “no” or “stop”? During rough play, we teach our children what a magic word is and to stop, that “no” means “we must stop.” We also teach them about strength and how hitting too hard or hitting in especially sensitive areas is not okay.

Roughhousing with your children is a great way to teach them that winning is not everything and compassion is everything. This will make them good friends and good human beings. And remember, roughhousing is not only for boys — girls love it and benefit from it, too.

If you want to learn more about horseplay and roughhousing with your kids, I recommend the book The Art of Roughhousing.

Fredrika Syren

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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