Is Roughhousing Really Just Aggression in Disguise?

Editor’s Pick. Written by Kelly Bartlett.

There is frequent roughhousing around here. Not involving me… it’s not really my cup of tea… but my husband and our kids. John is rarely averse to having a good tumble on the floor with kids tackling him from all sides, rolling over and over each other, fits of giggles all around. Our kids love it, and I happen to think it’s great for them. I see the joy and happiness on my kids faces and hear their squeals of laughter every time they realize Dad is coming to “get them!”

Many parents aren’t completely comfortable with roughhousing, as it can be hard to distinguish between what’s playful and what’s aggressive. One mom emailed me very upset over something she read about roughhousing, wondering why anyone would endorse such an aggressive activity for children. She thought this was the kind of thing that promotes violence in children.

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