As a boymom, I rarely experience a dull moment in our home. Sometimes it sounds like a herd of elephants stomping through the house. Sometimes there are ninja moves going on, and I have to tell them, “Don’t go ninjin’ nobody that don’t need ninjin’.”
And when I just told my husband that I was working on my reflection for this chapter, he said, “Roughhousing? Well, they are good at that.”
My reply was, “Yes, but the problem lies in my reaction to it. It isn’t always a biblical response.”
And it’s not.
I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never given thought to being proactive when it comes to roughhousing…..you know, setting up boundaries before any activity starts. For this teachermama, that seems to set things up, for a child to say, “Oohh, let’s see what we can do now!”
With our first son we didn’t have to worry, although we wanted to wrap him in a plastic bubble because he was so accident prone. Then when our second son was born, we didn’t say, “Ok. We need to go ahead and set boundaries for when these two start playing rough.” We taught in the moment. I think our biggest issue with them was that my oldest son was just bigger than our youngest who stayed sick all the time. He had difficulty gaining weight and didn’t always feel like playing. He’s not all innocent though. I remember all too well, when he gut punched his brother in the middle of the baby dedication at church.
Then baby boy number 3 came along. He has been rough, tough, and ready since day one. Definitely all boy! He is always willing to run and play. He’s not shy about a gut punch or bringing grown men to their knees. You can ask our barber about that.
I’ll have to say, that my biggest issue with the roughhousing is dealing with one getting hurt. I don’t want it to get that intense. When you have a 14 year old, 10 year old, and 7 year old of different sizes and aggressiveness, sometimes things go too far. We have to have those conversations of, “You are bigger than him, you can’t do that.” And yes, I do realize that is teaching in the moment, but before they play together again, I try to remind them of boundaries and expectations.
We also have to deal with the issue of “If you dish it out, you better be able to take it.” That’s always fun.
I think the biggest thing for this mama was realizing that boys are wired for roughhousing. They need activity and lots of it. My job is to allow them to meet those needs safely. And I look at it like this: My children need to realize their limitations as well. If I step in every single time and say, “You are going to far. Your brother is getting angry,” they will never learn those cues. Yet, those cues are important in many aspects of life.
What about you? Is roughhousing a trigger for you? How do you handle it?
Do you have any creative was of getting your children to be active and rough that doesn’t lead to kid and mama meltdowns?