Since the dawn of time, dads have always been a little more physical while playing with their kids. And now science says that’s a good thing. According to a new study, kids whose dads spend time playing with them at an early age find it easier to control their behavior and emotions when they get older.
This sounds like a study that was commissioned by two dads and involved them saying “we’re the best, right?” over and over, but actual scientists thew down some science. The study was backed by academic heavyweights Cambridge University and the LEGO Foundation.
Basically, what it boils down to is kids who enjoy “high-quality” playtime with dads are less likely to display hyperactivity, emotional or behavioral difficulties. They can better control their aggression and handle arguments at school better too.
The science says dads play more physical with kids (ticking, chasing games, piggyback rides, etc.), and this helps them learn how to control their feelings and behavior. Basically, dads rule.
One of the authors of the study said physical play creates fun situations where kids have to apply self-regulation.
“It’s a safe environment where kids can practice how to respond.”
Let this stand as a definitive take that dads are doing it right (of course, moms can also engage in physical play with kids, the research just pointed to this being more common with dads).
So, next time you are ruthlessly chasing your two-year-old around the house, or tickling your toddler until they are laughing so hard they can barely breathe, remember science says you are doing it right.