6/18/2011 12:28 AM
Just in time for Father’s day, a study in Australia has found that rough and tumble play between dads and their kids is crucially important in the early development of children.
"Rough and tumble play between fathers and their young children is part of their development, shaping their children's brain so that their children develop the ability to manage emotions and thinking and physical action altogether," Richard Fletcher, the leader of the Fathers and Families Research Program at the University of Newcastle in Australia, told ABC News. "This is a key developmental stage for children in that preschool area between the ages of about two and a half and five. That's when children learn to put all those things together."
Researchers arrived at this conclusion after watching videos of 30 fathers roughhousing with their children. One common game involved a child trying to remove a sock from their father’s foot. Though one might think boys benefit more from roughhousing than girls, researchers found no significant difference between the sexes once the play started, though kids consider the activity to be more than just play.
“They (the kids) obviously enjoy it and they're giggling, we know that's true, but when you watch the video, you can see that child is concentrating really hard … I think the excitement is related to the achievement that's involved," Fletcher told ABC News.
So what important benefits can kids get from rough play? Defeating a powerful adult gives children a feeling of achievement, while losing teaches children that life doesn’t always go your way. Playing rough also teaches kids resilience and Fletcher says it can even help keep kids out of trouble when they grow older.
"So, if parents want their children to grow up and not get into drugs and not get into trouble, if they want them to do well academically, than this is probably a good thing to do," said Fletcher. "We did find a correlation so that the dad's whose play was much better coordinated according to our measures, those children had less problems."
Posted by Christy
6/18/2011 12:28 AM |