Roughhousing: 6 Benefits of Rough Play With Kids (You Won't Believe No. 2!) by Mike Prochaska
Roughhousing, wrestling, whatever you call it, it’s one of the best things about being a parent. I love roughhousing and tickling my kids, but lately it has gotten a bad rap and not allowed at daycares and schools. And even some parents don’t let their kids roughhouse at home anymore, which is sad because it an important part of children’s development. In the book, "The Art of Roughhousing," Anthony DeBenedet and Lawrence Cohan highlight a few of the benefits of roughhousing and share research about how roughhousing doesn’t make children violent and impulsive, but instead makes children smart, emotionally intelligent, loveable and likeable. And physically fit. Here are the six reasons kids need roughhousing:
- Roughhousing can build a kid’s resilient spirit. It gives kids the ability to bounce back from failures and adapt to unpredictable situations, which helps them reach their full potentials. Roughhousing requires children to adapt. Learning how to cope with sudden changes teaches children how to cope with bumps in life.
- Roughhousing makes kids smarter by rewiring their brains for learning. How? By increasing the brains levels of a chemical called BDNF that helps grow parts of the brain for memory, logic and higher learning skills. Neuroscientists studying human brains found that horseplay increases, not decreases, children’s brain chemicals for learning.
- Children who engage in frequent roughhousing are more socially and emotionally adept than children who don’t. The “lack of rough play hamper the normal give and take necessary for social mastery and has been linked with poor control of violent impulses later in life,” says Dr. Stuart Brown, the founder of the National Institute of Play. Children learn the difference between play and aggression when they roughhouse. They learn the social skills to read and understand people.
- Roughhousing teaches our kids morality. When we roughhouse with our kids. they learn boundaries between right and wrong. If they start hitting too hard or somewhere they’re not supposed to, then we show them what appropriate roughhousing rules are. Roughhousing also teaches children about the appropriate use of strength and power, and that there can be strength in showing compassion to the weaker.
- Roughhousing gets your children physically fit. If you want your children to be healthy and active, then as parent or caregiver you need to be healthy and active – and what better way than to roughhouse with kids.
- Roughhousing is fun. It fun to roughhouse with your children. Don’t you remember being a kid roughhousing with your mom or dad? When you throw your children in the air and catch them you’re also building your child’s trust in you, that you’ll keep them safe.
Remember, roughhousing is for both boy and girls. Studies have shown that girls who roughhouse are more confident than girls who don’t. Also, studies show that girls who roughhouse have less chance of becoming mean girls who terrorize other girls. So next time your children start roughhousing, remember it is OK because it is making them a better person and is part of their development into good, caring adults.
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