Roughhousing with my son

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I roughhouse with my son.  Often.

I tickle.  Toss in the air.  Wrestle.  “Fly.”  Give piggy-back rides.  Jump, roll, run, and flip.

My interaction with my son is more rough, tough, and “dangerous” than my wife’s interaction with our son.

That doesn’t make me a better dad than my wife is a mom.  It also doesn’t mean that, for my wife to be a good wife, she needs to try to do what I do and roughhouse with our son.  Moms and Dads have unique roles to play, each contributing to the maturing and preparation of children to become men (and women) who honor God.

I enjoy roughhousing with my son, and I know how important that will be to his development into manhood.  I know it was important for me, growing up with my dad.  We would wrestle, play, and do “dangerous” stuff with him.  And I know for certain that he played a pivotal, key role in helping me understand God-honoring masculinity.  I’m thankful for him every day.

It’s cool when you see something on TV that gives credence to what you already do.  On NBC’s Today Show, they interviewed Anthony DeBenedet about his book, The Art of Roughhousing.  Check out the clip below.

I like this quote:

They’re learning about the tricks and trades of the world, and how difficult the world can be, but they’re doing it in a protected and safe environment with someone they respect, that they love, and that love them.  And that’s important.

Did you roughhouse with your dad?

Do you roughhouse with your kids?  Does that look any different for boys than girls?


Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Dustin

    I only have girls and yes, I roughhouse. It’s fun to make them laugh so hard. :)

  • Lesliepholmes

    my hubs roughhouses with my son on a daily basis. I appreciate the quote you posted, because it confirms that we are doing something good. the little guy loves it, and learns not to play rough with mommy. 
    a few people have commented on what we allow him to do in a swimming pool. he wears a full life jacket and we “throw” him and let him jump off diving boards. we trained him not to be scared of the water through cognitive conditioning, aka dunking him and when he came up, we told him how awesome he did even though he was crying at the time. He quickly got over any fear of the water, so now we’re teaching him never to swim without a life jacket – until he really learns how to swim.