As Dad, It’s My Right to Drive My Kids Crazy. Science Backs Me Up

As Dad, It’s My Right to Drive My Kids Crazy. Science Backs Me Up

I love being a dad, and I love to drive my kids crazy. Physically. Mentally.

Being a dad, for many reasons is different than being mom, and being a dad of boys is different than being a dad of girls. While I have no direct experience in the latter, I see the way my friends play with their daughters. It is not the same way that I engage in play with the boys.

I love getting hugs and quiet story reading, but there is something about wrestling and going crazy with the kids and getting them all worked up that helps us bond.

Once they gained some strength and didn’t have the floppy necks of newborns, I began roughhousing with them. Nothing crazy–I’d toss them onto the couch, tickle them non-stop, give them ‘the claw’, pin them down and let the dogs lick their faces…

I think you get the idea.

We have a great time, and it rarely ends in tears. Our latest playtime adventure is having a dance party. I’ll put on music and we’ll play wrestle, dance and generally go a little crazy.

We don’t just roughhouse. I often find myself doing a little mental tormenting as well. Little things, like poking fun and general teasing. For the boys and me it’s bonding time; don’t get me wrong I love getting hugs and quiet story reading, but there is something about wrestling and going crazy with the kids and getting them all worked up that helps us bond.

This type of hyperactive play might help kids develop a wider range of emotions and learn to control them.

What I have found is that the kids know the limits, and we play within them.

I’m not mean or cruel; it turns out there may be value in driving my kids crazy, discussed in recent articles in the Wall Street Journal. You see, it may be that this type of hyperactive play might help kids develop a wider range of emotions and learn to control them.

Dads have a unique way of parenting and providing encouragement. When Jay was learning to crawl, and we were on the floor with him, Dina was providing gentle encouragement to him, where as I was propping him up on his hands and knees, giving him a pat on the bum and saying go. I would move the toys just out of his reach to encourage him to get them.

The rough and tumble and risky play is beneficial. It shows kids there is security, which encourages them to explore and take more risks.

There is no right or wrong way to parent; there is a lot of evidence to support the notion that neither way is incorrect. The rough and tumble and risky play is beneficial. It shows kids there is security, which encourages them to explore and take more risks.

This isn’t strictly related to dads; moms can do it too. What I like most is when the kids initiate it. That’s the best. Dyl and Ry get this look in their eyes, then it’s a crazy free for all. Usually one ‘hops on pop’ while the other tickles.

When daddy gets ahold of them, there is a lot giggling, squealing, and fun.

Andrew Levy PhD

About Andrew Levy PhD

Andrew obtained his PhD from the University of Waterloo in Physiology, a topic not entirely having to do with with kids health specifically. Andrew’s expertise in kids health and raising children stems from his now 4+ years of direct hands on experiences with 3 little boys. My goal is to share some practical advice and some of the little not-so-perfect things my kids have done and how we managed to figure it all out so you can too.

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