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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son and all of his friends always play rough. They want to swordfight(even if they don't have play swords they will find bats or sticks) or wrestle. It is inevitable that someone will get hurt and a lot of the times it is my son who has hurt someone else's child. The children think that this is ok and the other moms shrug it off as typical boy behavior but it doesn't feel right to me. When I talk to ds, he says that he is only defending himself but I know that he can really lose control when they start playing like that. I don't really know what to do short of not letting him play with his friends(which is obviously not the solution)<br>
Any ideas?
 

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My DH didn't like ds1 and friends playing extremely rough on the play ground like that so he taught them all tag. Worked for a fair bit. Then they started rolling down the hill, playing with the puppy that was there, stuff like that. Maybe there are some other games you can show them??<br><br><br>
My boys play fight all the time recently. Giggling the whole time - until one cries "wah". Don't really know where to step in on that one, it seems to be part of their relationship. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 

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i don't really know the answer to this one either! i have 2 boys and they and their friends do this to some extent-some times more than others. lots of times i will make them stop if someone gets hurt (this is generally never intentional) and then no more, for the rest of the day/playtime. this has worked in that it has a level of roughness that they all understand without getting too rough. i know that doesn't make sense LOL one really fun activity that all kids that come to my house love is flashlight tag. we have a couple headlamps and a couple flashlights. no roughhousing involved!
 

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My ds is just 4, but I have similar problems with him playing like that with a cousin. I try to keep it from starting, because once he gets started, he can't stop easily. I've announced that children shouldn't touch each other, which works OK for ds but not the older cousin. I don't mind a little rough play, but my ds still doesn't understand the boundaries. If everyone was like minded, and no one was getting hurt, I probably wouldn't mind.
 

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I think practice is the key.<br>
I have two boys, ages 2 and 3 and they play rough with each other all the time. And because they do they pretty much know the "rules".<br>
WHen they roughhouse with another friend who doesnt get much practice that child might do soemthing that is hurtful because they havent really discovered what is accpetable in rough play and what is not.<br>
For example. My sons LOVE swordfighting (thanks dad) and they have all sorts of plastic lightsabers or foam swords etc. At the park they use sticks.<br>
But the rule is that when swordfighting it is ONLY ok to hit other swords and never each other. And even at 2 and 3 they know this. And as long as the swords are pretty equal in length (so nobody has the "advantage") they can play for long periods of time without ever actually touching each other with the swords.<br>
As for wrestling. THey do a lot of that too, and with their dad and sister. And I guess they just figured out that some things hurt more than others. But once when wrestling with a female friend who doesnt have a close sibling to wrestle with she stepped in ds's neck while wrestling. But we handled it well, and just told her how important it is not to use feet when wrestling because they can really hurt. Even ds knew she didnt mean to hurt him and was right back at the play.<br>
To clarify, I never imagined I would allow my children to play this way. My oldest dd was never allowed to have any violent play. She wasnt even allowed to have a bubble gun. (single mom, no compromise) But dh is all boy and has his own idea on what is fun and appropriate.<br><br>
So I guess I would wrestle and sword fight with him and help him identify what moves hurt his playmate and what ones are safe and ok.<br><br>
Joline
 

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I agree, practice and discussion is important. We have some wrestling rules, and most preschoolers can learn them. (For a toddler, I'd expect an adult would just always have to be hovering)<br><br>
No hitting or punching<br>
No kicking or biting<br>
Nothing with the head or neck, nothing.<br>
or the crotch.<br>
No sneak-attacks/startling<br>
When someone says stop, we always stop instantly<br>
(this last rule was amended recently when our younger boy kept saying STOP STOP and when we'd enforce the older boys' stopping, younger boy would say "but it was just part of the game!!!" ??? So... we have one word that always means *really* stop, and you might want to have one in your family too.)<br><br>
Wresting and rough play is apparently very very important to lots of little boys, and I wouldn't recommend forbidding it.<br><br>
ETA I think the guy who wrote Playful Parenting has a set of wrestling rules, too.<br><br>
Also, I think if your son tends to be someone who often gets hurt or is doing the hurting, it will probably be necessary to stay very close by - as much of a pain as that is when we'd like to socialize with grown-ups. Many of these accidents can be predicted and prevented by an observant adult. Obviously not all of them...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div style="font-style:italic;">Also, I think if your son tends to be someone who often gets hurt or is doing the hurting, it will probably be necessary to stay very close by - as much of a pain as that is when we'd like to socialize with grown-ups. Many of these accidents can be predicted and prevented by an observant adult. Obviously not all of them...</div>
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I think this is our main problem. The kids are all between 5 and 7 and the two friends we spend the most time with have playrooms and the adults tend to congregate in the kitchen. I think we have gotten a little lax about supervising them because we get caught up chatting.<br><br>
Thanks everyone for the advice! Looks like I'm going to have to go over some ground rules and watch them a little more closely. I'll also start suggesting diiferent things for them to do when they start to get out of control.
 
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