About the Book


What It’s All About


The Art of Roughhousing is an impassioned defense of good old-fashioned horseplay. Why does it need defending? Because it is rapidly disappearing, or disparaged as unsafe or “too wild.” Through research, and real-life examples, this book makes the case that roughhousing will bring you and your children closer together; improve their cognitive and emotional intelligence; and promote physical health, strength, and flexibility.

The Art of Roughhousing is also a manual, filled with cool moves, techniques, games, and roughhousing ideas—with easy-to-follow instructions and illustrations. There are old favorites, like pillow fights and airplane, and new ones, like Rogue Dumbo and Crane.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the book, which provides our personal definition of roughhousing, and explains why it is so valuable.

“Roughhousing is play, which means that it is done for its own sake, it is joyful, and it flows with spontaneity, with improvisation, and without any worries about how we look or how much time is passing by.

Roughhousing is physical, which means that it integrates our bodies with our brains, and promotes physical fitness, release of tension, and well-being.

Roughhousing is interactive, which means it builds close connections between our children and ourselves, especially as we get down on the wrestling mat and join children in their world.

Roughhousing is rowdy, which means that it pushes us out of our inhibitions and inflexibilities. Rowdiness is not dangerous, as long as we have the safety that comes from knowledge, close supervision, and carefully paying attention.”


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