ROUGH and tumble play between dads and kids does more than form bonds, it is a critical part of a child’s development, university researchers have said.
In the lead up to Father’s Day on Sunday, the University of Newcastle’s Family Action Centre yesterday launched a website to encourage fathers to get serious about playtime with their children to help prepare them for school.
Project leader Dr Richard Fletcher said playtime with parents was linked to fewer behavioural problems in pre-schoolers because it taught them social norms. This led to better educational outcomes.
“In the classroom children need to learn how to wait their turn, explain themselves coherently and know how to co-operate with other children,’’ he said. ‘‘Rough and tumble play is an excellent way for children to learn how to manage strong emotions, such as anger.”
Zeke Marosszeky, of Cooks Hill, said his kids loved rough-housing.
‘‘I’m always the horse, they’re always fighting over who rides me.’’