I grew up with two brothers and a father that liked to rampse around. We would wrestle, box, kick, tickle, arm wrestle and Charlie horse each other into submission at the drop of a hat. Mom used to get upset fearing we were going to hurt one another or break-up another piece of furniture.
My boys like to roughhouse as well and their mom reacts pretty much the same way. Horseplay. Is one of the best things about being a dad. I still get those big belly laughs even though I no longer swing either one of the beasts around the living room.
In defense of rambunctious play, I found a book entitled The Art of Roughhousing, by Anthony DeBenedet and Larry Cohen. They argue that claim that roughhousing “makes kids smart, emotionally intelligent, lovable and likable, ethical, physically fit, and joyful.”
Roughhousing is not going to turn your kids into sadists or bouncing-off-the-wall hellians. Studies show that girls who roughhouse with their fathers are more confident than girls who don’t!
The golden rule, never hit one another in anger. Never!
But, I am forced to agree, there are exceptions. Take 27 year-old Sean Fallon-Nebbia who bit off part of his 26-year-old brother's ear and beat him unconscious after "play wrestling" turned into a real fight following the Super Bowl on Sunday night.
The boys drank a few bottles of Jack during the game.
Police in Rochester, New York were called in after the younger brother was knocked-out. Sean was charged with felony assault and is being held on $15,000 bond. His brother is permanently disfigured.
The lesson, more wings for the post-game show.