Raising Two Boys
Recently I read an article someone posted on my Facebook feed that was written by a mommy blogger titled, "Sibling Roughhousing: The Benefits of the Wrestling Ring". It was a great read for me because I myself am raising two boys (five and 21 months, who acts like the five year old). Each of them have their distinct personalities and they are fun to watch. However, I too find myself wanting to protect and deter my kids from this kind of play. Boundaries and rules are good so that mayhem does not ensue.
But after reading this article my beliefs around structure, boundaries and rules hasn't changed but my understanding of the roughhouse play and need for it has grown. I was watching my two boys engage in running laps through our kitchen, dining room and living room (a perfect running track if you will) and caught myself grimacing when they began to tug, pull and take each other down. Both laughing and smiling of course, taking turns and egging each other on. I watched and watched, even took some video. They WERE okay, they WERE playing, they WERE communicating and they WERE being boys. At one point I did remind them that the tile floor would hurt should either of them tackle each other and or fall on it. Though that only deterred them from continuing to engage in this kind of play.
I am the oldest of three in my family. I have one sister and one brother, both who are younger. My sister is three years younger and my brother eleven years younger. We did not have this kind of play growing up. My sister and I played with dolls, toys, played outside, imaginary games, rode bikes, played sports and created games. I was much older than my brother so got little play time with him except for the weekends and evenings as I was in school most of his growing up years. My husband however has an older brother and sister, he is the youngest of three. His approach to our boys IS more physical, daring and includes a TON of roughhouse play. Neither of us is wrong in our play with the kids but in my mind provides a balance for them.
If you are a parent of a boy I would encourage you to read this article I am referencing. It is a great article, allowed me to engage in my own self reflection and understand being a parent of BOYS. Isn't it the best!