The week’s best parenting advice: June 30, 2020

Young children whose fathers play with them may exhibit better control over their behavior and emotions as they grow up, according to recent research from Cambridge University and the LEGO Foundation. In this case, the kind of play matters: Physical roughhousing like chasing, tickling, and piggy-back rides appears “linked to positive social, emotional, and cognitive outcomes,” and fathers are more likely than mothers to engage in these “rough-and-tumble” activities. So what role does physical play have in regulating emotions? It “creates fun, exciting situations in which children have to apply self-regulation,” professor Paul Ramchandani, one of the study’s authors, tells The Guardian. “You might have to control your strength, learn when things have gone too far — or maybe your father steps on your toe by accident and you feel cross.” Of course, mothers can wrestle with their children, too, but the researchers say the findings show we need to “give fathers, as well as mothers, time and space to play with their children.”
[The Guardian, Developmental Review]

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