WHY ROUGH-ANDTUMBLE IS IMPORTANT FOR KIDS
Challenging your kids, playing games and even rough-andtumble is vital for their wellbeing, according to a recent study. A group of Australian and Dutch researchers found that any play that involved challenging parent behaviour (CPB) had positive effects on kids in the form of lowering anxiety levels. Study author Rebecca Lazarus says these behaviours can have a protective effect on children, as well as encouraging them to take risks. “The idea behind CPB is it gives children exposure to safe risk, so things that might be a bit anxiety provoking but lets them know that it’s actually ok,” she explains. “It could be things including encouraging the child if they are cautious about approaching something, such as a dog in a park. They might be frightened of dogs, but you can encourage them by showing them how you approach a dog and let it sniff your hand,” she says. Other things parents can do to help build resilience include running races or playing games. “It’s all safe and gentle, but it lets kids have that experience at losing and what that feels like,” Rebecca says. The researchers looked at 312 families for the study and say that further studies were needed into CPB as a possible treatment for anxiety in children. Currently, seven per cent of Aussie kids aged between four and 17 are estimated to have anxiety issues.