Teach your Kids the Hard Way
"You know," I said to my seven-year-old son as I
sat next to him on the couch, "it occurs to me that
I haven't body slammed you into the ground for at
least a day or two."
He shot me a fiendish look. "You want a piece of
me, buddy?!" he shouted.
The next few minutes were a blur of arms and
legs, body slams, and my wife telling us to "take
it easy." The more we wrestled, the more fun we
had. We were lost in the moment, focusing only on
who would gain the upper hand.
This ritual with my children has been going on
for many years. Not only is it something we
thoroughly enjoy, but it fills a developmental need
for children--to play with their Dads. This play
can be quite rough at times, which makes many
mothers uncomfortable. But according to Stephen
Suomi, M.D., of the National Institute of Child
Health and Development, this kind of rough play
helps children in many ways. "Fathers teach their
children when enough is enough. If the play gets
too rough, they (children) have to learn how to
stop it before it gets out of hand."
Whether you have boys or girls, most children
are naturally aggressive. Fathers who play roughly
with their children teach them the difference
between appropriate and inappropriate aggression.
This allows children to learn the lessons they need
to avoid being shunned by their peers--not only
today, but in the years ahead. "In nature, animals
that can't play nicely get dumped by their
friends," Suomi explains.
Here are some guidelines for fathers
rough-housing with their children:
- Wrestle with both your son and your
daughter--it helps girls to feel more assertive,
and lets them know you think she can handle
- Make specific rules when you're
wrestling--no biting, hitting, kicking, etc.
Then, you've got to follow them.
- Let your kids win often--it will keep it
more fun for them, and encourage more future
- If you're married, wrestle in designated
areas in the house--it will make your wife a lot
I took my son by the waist and lifted him onto
the couch. "Here comes the pile driver!" I
bellowed, and I drove my shoulder into his stomach.
He tried to wiggle free, but I pinned him down to
complete my victory.
After all, I didn't want him to be shunned by
© 2007 Mark
Other Father Issues,
* * *
To this day I can remember my father's
voice, singing over me in the stillness of the
night. - Carl G. Jung
a Masters degree in counseling psychology and has
been a counselor, business consultant, sports
counselor, and a certified life and business coach.
He has worked with individuals, teams, and
businesses to improve their performance for over 20
years. Prior to life and business coaching Mark was
a world-ranked professional tennis player and has
coached other world-ranked athletes. He has helped
hundreds of individuals to implement his coaching
techniques. Mark specializes in coaching men to
balance their lives and to improve the important
relationships in their lives. He is the author of
the popular e-books, 25
Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent
Your Wife in 30 Days or Less (And Improve Yourself
at the Same Time
Mark is also the publisher of the Dads
Dont Fix your Kids ezine for fathers.
To sign up, go to www.markbrandenburg.com
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