Smiling like Sunshine: Book Review and Giveaway:{The Art of Roughhousing}

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Book Review and Giveaway:{The Art of Roughhousing}

This is a joint giveaway with Smiling like Sunshine and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked "Win it!" for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.
One of the parenting books that has a huge effect on me is Lawrence Cohen's Playful Parenting which I have written about here. So when an opportunity to review his new book co-written with Anthony DeBenedet arise, I was delighted.

Cohen mentions the importance of roughhousing in Playful Parenting and this book takes it further.

These days we hear a lot about "health and safety" and discourage our children from rough and tumble thinking it is "too wild" or "dangerous". Cohen and DeBenedet mention that children's play time is now adult organized, adult-refereed and adult-structured-activities. Thus they advocate that parents should get on the floor and take time to rough and tumble with the children.
DeBenedet and Cohen give reference to numerous studies and claim that rough playing promotes:
  • General Intelligence: Physical play releases a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which stimulates neuron growth in the brain’s cortex and hippocampus. Both areas are key to memory and advanced thinking (for skills like language and logic)
  • Emotional Intelligence: When you roughhouse with your kids, the authors argue, you’re practicing revving up and calming down, gauging how the other person reacts and feels. This helps children learn how to manage strong emotions.
  • Social skills: Good roughhousing means good-natured give and take in the action. Kids who are well-liked, the authors note, are those who engage in fun rough-and-tumble play, whereas kids who aren’t liked act aggressively.
  • Ethics and morality: Parents roughhousing with their kids model how someone bigger and stronger can hold back a bit while still playing. Therefore good roughhousing teaches kids cooperation and trust.
  • Physical fitness
  • Joy
In our house, up until now, my partner has been the one who roughhoused with our children. This book made me realize that I, as their mother, should also spend some time with my kids wrestling, jumping and pillow fighting. I like that the book has a guide with specific roughhousing moves.

Some moves are acrobatic, requiring focus and coordination, but Cohen and DeBenedet insist they’re all doable.

The authors also mention that roughhousing is not just for boys. They believe all children, boys and girls benefit from it. "So" they say, "make sure your son knows that he has a secure home base and that he can always climb into your arms for a cuddle or a good cry if his body or feelings get hurt. And make sure your daughter has a chance to test out strength and power, so she can step out into the world with confidence."

Roughhousing is all about fostering closeness and bringing more joy and laughter to our lives so I highly recommend this book.


You can purchase your own copy of The Art of Roughhousing through Amazon. The book sells for £8.99.


For your own chance to win a copy of The Art of Roughhousing by Larry Cohen and Anthony DeBenedet from Quirk Books, enter by leaving a comment and using our new Rafflecopter system below.

Two winners will each receive a copy of The Art of Roughhousing. Contest is open to the United States, Canada, UK and Europe.
MANDATORY ENTRY: Tell us why you want to win this book! You must enter your name and email address in the Rafflecopter entry system for your entry to count, after leaving a comment on this blog post.
Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. Please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries.

This is a joint giveaway with Smiling like Sunshine and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we'll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!

See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Just click "Click for instructions" for guidance and then "I did this" — any comments or extra information such as URLs can be entered into the "Extra Info" box. Give it a try or visit the Rafflecopter tutorial, and email or leave a comment if you have any questions!

Contest closes November 16 at 7.59 a.m. UK time.

Disclosure: Our reviewer received a sample product for review purposes.
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relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent.
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  1. Men always seem better at Roughhousing


  2. I want to win, because I have 4 boys who love Roughhousing with their Dad and I would love to know more.

  3. I learned that Roughjousing is rapidly disappearing.

  4. I would like to win this book as I've got a 10 week old baby girl and I would like her to build her confidence using the trust I've already built with her. Her daddy doesn't live with us so sometimes I'm going to have to step in and be daddy too, yet this might not be something I'd naturally do without a little guidance!

  5. I'd love this book. I always had a sneaking suspicion that rough-and-tumble games (as we call them in our family) are good for children, but I had no idea until I looked at the website that there was actually a good load of science behind it!

  6. Oh, and want to win it because I'd love to learn more about it :) (I'm Clare Kirkpatrick by the way)

  7. Wow I didn't realise that physical play releases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is like fertilizer brains and develops growth cortex and hippocampus which helps learning, memory and language and logic.

    Would love to read this book and find out more about Roughousing.

  8. I very much want to win this book, because I could greatly use new ideas on how to handle and redirect my three year old's energy!

  9. I saw that the book has moves, games, and techniques for roughhousing - a few of which I picked up from their blog!


Thank you so much for taking your time and leaving a comment!