Why It's Good For Dads To Play Rough
“Daddy, let’s wrestle!”
“Sharks and Minnows!”
While dads may not always be in the mood to roll around on the floor with their kids, they seem to find the energy. These moments are what young children live for, and science shows that they make a huge impact on their development.
Dads may just be in it for the fun, but the benefits of this ‘roughhousing’ extend to the whole family. Mom loves to see Dad playing with the kids – so she is happy. Dad is distracted from the burden of work and life, and he is caught up in the moment of play time – so he is happy (and remember how Mom is happy? That makes Dad happy, too).
The Benefits of Playing Rough With Your Kids
Roughhousing Teaches Boundaries and Respect
With Dad being in charge, physical games and ‘rough play’ become a great platform to learn how to respect others and when to see and set boundaries.
Of course, safety is always the top priority, and ensuring that the game doesn’t have any true injury possibilities is the responsibility of Dad. But having a safe way to teach how to respect boundaries is important. The youngest little ones will be able to understand right from wrong and how to respect others from toddlerhood. (A lesson that will last throughout every relationship he or she ever makes.)
“Children who have the opportunity to engage with risks in a secure setting with minimal hazards and appropriate supervision learn lessons that will serve them in good stead when they encounter risks in the “real” world.” Mariana Brussoni, an assistant professor in the Dept. of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia.
Roughhousing Builds Intelligence
According to The Art of Roughhousing by Anthony DeBenedet, rough-play increases intelligence in children. Studies show that bouts of rough-and-tumble play increase the amount of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) released in the child’s brain. BDNF is linked to the growth of the parts of the brain that handle higher-learning and logic skills. ng Makes Kids Kinder
You read that right. Wrestling, play fighting, and (gently) playfully body slamming your toddler on the bed regularly may actually make him (or her) a kinder person. Studies actually show that rough-and-tumble play creates children who can empathize and feel more towards others.
Roughhousing Makes Kids Healthier
Simply put, roughhousing is a physical activity. It will help build stamina and a love for being physically active. It also keeps technology at bay, which we know is linked to being overweight and idle.
Roughhousing Builds Memories
This is what the kids will remember. They may even be some of their earliest memories they have. The excitement that rushes over a child when they know it’s time to play is something that will stick with them, and hopefully pass on to their own children one day.
So Roughhouse Away Dads!
The takeaway: It’s time to play with your young kids. Sons and daughters benefit, and all should be included. Remember that respect is a two-way street, and you need to give it as much as you want it given to you. You are guiding your children through this play, and while it is ‘all fun and games’ it is also so much more.