‘The Art of Roughhousing’ May Be Dying

“The Art of Roughhousing”

Picture this: parents and children roll over each other on the floor of a gym and sit in circles taking turns pulling off each other’s socks. Some moves are more serene and others more athletic: flipping, dipping, and tossing.

That’s what happens at roughhousing events sponsored by Boston-based psychologist Dr. Larry Cohen. Cohen, with physician Dr. Anthony DeBenedet, co-authored a new book “The Art of Roughhousing: Good Old-Fashioned Horseplay and Why Every Kids Needs It.”

In the book, the authors make an ambitious argument in an age where parenting has moved from “safety first” to “safety only.” At most playgrounds these days, children calmly play and parents hover, doing their utmost to prevent the next bumped elbow or bruised knee.

“The Art of Roughhousing” is controversial in many circles, and parents are trying to figure out what works for them.

Do you remember roughhousing with your parents as a child? Do you roughhouse with your kids?


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Host Meghna Chakrabarti introduces us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and brings us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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