helicopter parenting

Is there an art to roughhousing?

There's a new book out called The Art of Roughhousing, in which two fathers (one an MD and the other a PhD) offer advice and diagrams on how to roughhouse the right way.   They believe that it's "crucial to kids' self esteem and physical development that parents unplug the family, loosen up and let fly."  Today's obsession with safety and technology, they argue, has changed the way we play.  And not for the better. 

Let me start off here by saying I AGREE.  Who wouldn't?  I don't like the idea that today's kids no longer roam free and explore on their own any more than the next mother. And there's nothing better than the bond (and the giggles) that comes from them messing around with their father on the kitchen floor. 

But as I said in this Associated Press article, as much as I  WANT my children to enjoy the benefits of roughhousing (a close physical connection to us as parents, a sense of their own physical power and free play) there's a lot at stake when the roughhousing starts.

Do you ever feel like a bad mom?

The state of my kitchen table yesterday. I do.  

Like, all the time.

Take yesterday.  I was was trying to keep the kids on schedule (camp for Ollie; music class for Felix) because if we dawdled much longer then there would have been no sense in even trying to get out the door.  (And before you ask, "So? What's the harm in that?" let me say that we all do better when we get out of the house.  Otherwise, the boys rip the place apart, maul each other, and basically make me crazy[ier].  In other words, there is no upside to staying home--especially on a gorgeous summer morning.)