We’re delighted that you share our interest in getting rowdy and rambunctious.

We both came to roughhousing first as kids. For Anthony, that meant tons of fun and great bonding times with his dad. For Larry, roughhousing meant getting clobbered by bigger, meaner kids. So we’ve “looked at roughhousing from both sides now,” as the song goes. We both rediscovered roughhousing as dads. For Anthony, it was a continuation of fun and closeness through physically active play. For Larry, it was a new discovery that roughhousing could be safe and enjoyable. Later, as we became students of the science and the art of roughhousing, we learned that parent-child roughhousing is one of the best ways for families to connect, and one of the best ways to teach children trust, confidence, and inner strength. So we collaborated on The Art of Roughhousing and became even more motivated to share what we had learned.

Of course, we didn’t invent roughhousing, and we aren’t the first to emphasize how important it is. We are following in the footsteps of Harry Harlow, who first studied rough-and-tumble play, and discovered that it is necessary for healthy development. We are following the lead of our “Playground Hero,” Anthony Pellegrini, a psychologist at the University of Minnesota who studies recess and childhood play. We were inspired by Stuart Brown, who organized the latest research beautifully in his book, Play. Most of all, we are following the lead of our own children, and children everywhere, who truly know the value of roughhousing.

This website is a gathering place for roughhousers to share their experiences within the exciting world of rough and tumble play. We hope that you’ll find this a place to discover new levels of rowdiness, to share your joys and agonies, and to show off your own moves.

We’re glad you’re here.

-Anthony and Larry


Anthony T. DeBenedet, M.D. is a board-certified physician in internal medicine and an incredibly active and adventurous father. An avid athlete, he enjoys basketball, running, hiking, and golf. He lives with his wife and three young daughters in Ann Arbor, Michigan.




Larry CohenLawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist specializing in children’s play and play therapy. His book Playful Parenting is in its eleventh printing. His writing has also appeared in the Boston Globe, professional journals, and a host of national parenting magazines. He lives with his wife and two teenage children in Brookline, Massachusetts.

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