The Art of Roughhousing

In the last couple of weeks the new game Liam and Ava like to play with daddy specifically, is wrestling. My husband roughhouses with them and they giggle, laugh, and eventually they tire out (which is key). It’s funny that they inherently know to go to daddy for this interaction.   They have never approached me and asked me to wrestle them. Although some people might warn that someone could get hurt I think that this is a very important process to go through.

Let’s face it when you are roughhousing every once in a while someone is going to get hurt. However, I can’t help but think that this might make them a little more resilient. Although there are times that I worry that it is getting too rough (and that is why they pick daddy over mommy) for the most part it teaches them to bounce back. Will is careful in his play and the kids always come back for more. Even though, this physical play can cause a few playoff-payoffbruises now and then, I think it outweighs the alternative of them being less active.

I also believe that roughhousing can help sharpen reflects. Kids have to think fast as they are rolling, pillow fighting, wrestling with dad. They are constantly changing their approach on how to defeat dad. Of course this is all done in good natured fun, but it still does take some problem solving skills to overcome him. This kind of play also teaches boundaries of what behavior is acceptable and not acceptable.

I am not a worthy competitor. Routinely as part of the game my husband drops the kids on their beds and they giggle with delight. The truth is I have tried to do this and my height on dropping the kids onto their bed is not as exciting as dad, who can lift them over his head. Daddy takes chances that either I would not do or physically are unable to do. Sometimes it is good to push pass the limit of normal active play just a little bit to be challenging and entertaining.

My husband is very involved in all aspects of Liam and Ava’s lives; however this is one specific activity that he just does with them. I think it is important that both Liam and Ava feel a bond between themselves and their father. In creating this bond, Liam and Ava will recognize that they each have a distinct relationship with their father in which it can develop into a very special parent-child connection.

I guess in short, if you are one of the many mothers who anxiously watch as a bystander as your kids and husband roll around and wonder is this ok? Consider what your kids might be getting out of it besides a few laughs and a good time with dad.


Happy Father’s Day

By definition everyone knows what a father is, but that really does not do justice to what describes a father.  A father is someone who helps the mother through the nine months of pregnancy without ever complaining about it.  A father is terrified and thrilled the day his child is born.  A father is the one who changes diapers, helps with feedings, and hands the car keys to the mother when he can tell she needs to get out of the house.  A father is one who praises and celebrates the first words, first steps, potty training, and all of the other milestones and is excited about it.  A father is someone who comes home from work and immediately drops everything to find where the kids are hiding (even if it is the same spot as the day before).  A father is the one who is completely exhausted from a day at work, but still takes the kids outside to play.  A father is the guy in the suit who rushed from his job to see his kids in their sport.  A father is the one who every year takes his daughter to the dress rehearsal of her dance recital and tapes it (he also on the way home will take her for ice cream, as their little secret).  A father is the one who with mixed emotions of happiness and sadness will give his daughter away on her wedding day.

I am very lucky.  The father examples I described above are the fathers that are in my life.  My husband, father, and father-in-law are all constant suppliers of love and support.  It is not an easy job and often exhausting with little shown appreciation. Take time to thank the father (or father figures) in your life and know that every step of the way he was proud of you.  Happy Father’s Day!!!!