22 June 2011

Say hello to the Walking Jungle Gym

Maybe I was meant to be a mom of boys. Nothing pleases me more than when my two ragamuffins climb all over me.

I've done work with Aedyn literally sitting on top of my head, his feet on either of my shoulders, and him holding onto my bangs shouting "I drive Mommy!" While I may answer in my mind, "Yeah, you drive Mommy nuts!" I can't imagine life any other way. I help him stand on my shoulders like a circus performer and hope that he doesn't trust me enough to just jump without warning. We have tickle fights and "I get you!" matches. Not a day goes by where he hasn't at some point wound up sitting on my shoulders, I might add that I rarely put him there, he just finds the opportunity to climb up there himself.

Did I mention I'm the mom? You should see some of the stunts that he and his Papa do! And he and his TCOM get themselves pretty wound up too! (Sidenote: TCOM is my dad, and the acronym for The Cool Old Man)

Jaron has been tossed up in the air and snuggled and tickled since he has been able to hold his head up. Now he has started to insert himself into the action. If Jake and Aedyn are playing then he MUST be in on it. If I'm tossing Aedyn into the air, then he crawls over and pulls up on my leg and jabbers at me until it's his turn.

Guess I'm kind of outing myself as a non-helicopter parent here.

But this Jungle Gym that is me might just be the new best thing.

May 27th of this year, two doctors released a new parenting book The Art of Roughhousing. It's starting to gain some national attention. It first caught my eye through a Forbes article and I love the benefits that Patch.com lists:
Other key benefits include:
  • Developing self-regulatory skills
  • Helping kids manage themselves because when they’re playing rough, they have to defend themselves
  • Learning self-confidence and how to manipulate and handle their young bodies
  • Aiding children in learning how to interact with others, developing empathy and reining in personal aggression
  • Builds trust, establishes a more physical relationship with another adult
  • Increases emotional intelligence, as children have to regulate their ability to hype up and wind down
  • Furthers problem-solving skills by forcing immediate choices and results
  • Encouraging physical play, keeping their little bodies fit
  • Laughter and joy: Children enjoy this type of play, which results in giggles and requests for more
If you have a minute, check out both of those articles.

While it seems to focus primarily on Dads, there is nothing keeping moms from getting involved too. Although I will readily admit that Jake and I have very different roughhousing styles and what he does with the boys still occasionally causes me to catch my breath and say a quick prayer that we don't wind up in the emergency room that night.

I think that this is a sign that we're headed back to understanding how to raise our kids in a natural way that some how works miraculously for their benefit. So maybe next time you're eating your free-range chicken and organically grown veggies and wiping your mouth with a reusable cloth napkin, think about letting your kids do what comes naturally too. Enjoy the running around,climb, jumping and all out chaos...it's the natural state of a child and it doesn't last long enough.

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1 comment:

  1. It's funny that when he was a newborn I was afraid that every slight movement would cause shaken baby syndrome and now I regularly toss my 8 month old up in the air and hang him upside down. He loves every second!


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