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about playfighting

(30 Posts)
balia Sat 27-Aug-16 19:18:17

I've got another thread about my specific situation but really wanted to get a sense of how people feel about play fighting between siblings.

I hate it, think it is just an excuse for violence, but do other people think it is normal? Is it different for boys/girls? Do you feel like it is ok sometimes? Does it depend on the ages of the kids involved? All opinions welcome - am worried I am over-reacting.

lessthanBeau Sat 27-Aug-16 19:26:30

My bro and I used to play fight always ended up with me in tears, son and daughter play fighting always ended up with DD crying. It starts as fun and then ends up being about who's the strongest, usually the eldest and then it quickly dissolves into real violence as the weaker one becomes frustrated, I tried never to encourage it. It's not worth the agro in the end.

LouBlue1507 Sat 27-Aug-16 19:39:51

It's perfectly normal and healthy for development... It shouldn't be discouraged!

NeedsAsockamnesty Sat 27-Aug-16 19:41:20

I don't like it at all and will not allow it

Oysterbabe Sat 27-Aug-16 19:41:27

It's absolutely normal.

powershowerforanhour Sat 27-Aug-16 19:45:22

I had a brother and sister and we loved it. The older we got the better it was as we sort of learned to modify it so everyone was still having fun. It helps to provide pillows so they can beat the daylights out of each other and it doesn't actually hurt.

dangermouseisace Sat 27-Aug-16 19:48:25

I read a book (the start of all bad things) that said that, particularly for boys (yes sexism I know), it was important. However, it did say that adult involvement in this was necessary, and said that it was good for kids to learn self control i.e. if someone says STOP you have to STOP. Also to learn things about your own strength.

FWIW I have 3 kids- 2 boys, 1 girl and there is always some sort of rough and tumble going on. I figure as long as they know the rules- nothing over anyone's face, don't touch anyone's head/neck, stop when someone says stop, don't play fight with someone who doesn't want to, no kicking, then it is ok. If anyone gets hurt then apologies are in order, even if you didn't mean to hurt the person.

Kids are all really well behaved, schoos always comment on how they are all model pupils, caring etc so I'm guessing it hasn't done them any harm.

powershowerforanhour Sat 27-Aug-16 19:52:45

Oh yeah...we had Dangermouse's rules as well.

UmbongoUnchained Sat 27-Aug-16 19:55:53

Perfectly normal and healthy. Me and my brother still play fight now and we're 25.

DramaAlpaca Sat 27-Aug-16 20:00:13

My three boys, who are close in age, used to play fight all the time. We taught them the same rules dangermouse describes and made sure they were supervised.

I never had a problem with play fighting and I don't remember anyone ever getting hurt. They all knew to stop before it got to that stage and really enjoyed the rough & tumble. I regarded it as a normal and healthy type of play.

All three boys have grown up to be gentle souls who wouldn't dream of physically hurting anyone, and they still play fight together occasionally especially when they haven't seen each other for a while.

WellErrr Sat 27-Aug-16 20:02:07

Mine love wrestling. Brother and sister. We have dangermouse's rules too.

phillipp Sat 27-Aug-16 20:03:45

I don't see how there can be one answer to this. Some kids play fight and it's actual play. Some kids always get carried away and it ends when one is hurt.

Every situation is different. If the adult knows that their kids always take it too far, then it's probably best that it's not allowed. But I don't think and blanket ban on rough and tumble is the way to go either.

OohMavis Sat 27-Aug-16 20:07:47

See, I know it's normal, I grew up with four brothers and we all knocked the custard out of eachother every day and loved every minute of it... But as a parent it makes me so anxious and on edge. I HATE it.

Juanbablo Sat 27-Aug-16 20:11:05

My brother and I used to play fight and properly beat the shit out of each other and we loved it.

Ds1 and ds2 enjoy it but dd doesn't really. I don't believe it's anything to do with being a girl, she's just a more placid personality and doesn't like that sort of games. I allow it and she sometimes joins it but I step in if I feel it's getting too rough.

Yesterday we met up with friends who have 3 boys who all wrestle and play fight a lot and ds1 thought he had won the lottery! They were all bundling and wrestling each other and no one actually got hurt so they clearly have boundaries that they stay within.

balia Sat 27-Aug-16 20:17:29

So - do I need some sort of clearer definition of 'play fighting' ? What is it then, if the idea is to fight someone without hurting them? What separates 'play' from just fighting? I have two boys, they have never fought one another - if they need to find out how strong they are there are sports in safe conditions to do that. But there is a 5 year age gap, so maybe that making it inappropriate. And if one 'player' keeps getting hurt, or his stuff being damaged - do we shake hands and apologise and think it is still ok?

Theimpossiblegirl Sat 27-Aug-16 20:18:58

I have 2 girls and have always discouraged it, I can't stand violence. They are now teens and even their worst disputes don't involve any physical contact.

That said, a few months ago I walked in to find them playing wrestling and DD admitted they had done it lots over the years "Just not in front of you, Mum." To their credit, they said they were always really careful because they knew they'd be in trouble if anyone got hurt/I found out.

UmbongoUnchained Sat 27-Aug-16 20:27:49

Op if they're laughing then leave them to it. If they're crying then breaking them up. That's pretty much the o my way to police it.

Most of the aggressive and violent people I know come from households where there was no play fighting or anything like that. They've never learnt how to manage aggression.

eyebrowsonfleek Sat 27-Aug-16 20:31:16

I personally hate it but my opinion is that if they enjoy it, they should be allowed to do it. What's vital is to learn the rules of playfighting like if someone says stop, stop immediately and get off.

Playfighting happens in the playground (although no schools openly admit it) so it is important to know the rules before that. There is a boy in ds's class (age 10) who isn't allowed to playfight at home and not knowing how to do it within limits result in him upsetting the other boys in the playground regularly.

balia Sat 27-Aug-16 21:06:27

I'm not in the position to need to police it - fighting and violence don't happen in our home. Most of the aggressive and violent people I've known come from households in which there was aggression and violence and it was acceptable, and where people who try to avoid violence are belittled and told they weren't 'proper men' if they didn't want to fight. I think my issue is that in my current situation, what is being called play fighting isn't play by dangermouse's rules, and is resulting in harm. I think my feelings about 'play fighting' are actually getting in the way of seeing the situation clearly, in that it isn't really play at all (not in the way people have described it here, being consensual and no-one betting hurt) but is bullying disguised as play.

balia Sat 27-Aug-16 21:07:40

betting? getting...

Wolfiefan Sat 27-Aug-16 21:09:43

My two don't do it. We have never encouraged it. There's a 6 year old age gap so someone would get hurt.
They do play "ninjas" together but are always on the same side. Older one has taught younger one some martial arts patterns. But not to use on each other.
Play fighting is an anachronism. You can't be playing if you are fighting.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sat 27-Aug-16 21:11:49

Completely normal unless there are tears then leave them to it.

mygorgeousmilo Sat 27-Aug-16 21:18:26

My three boys are allowed to play fight, or "battle" as they call it. We also follow Damgermouse's rules. They all know these rules and any lack of good sportsmanship is swiftly dealt with. I can honestly say that after stressing over it and trying to stop it for so long, that I believe it's a deep rooted part of their sibling bonding experience. If there are rules, and respect and at least s bit of supervision, then they really enjoy it and it seems to scratch some kind of itch that nothing else compares to. Something about that physical energy and frustration being let out!

BarbLives Sat 27-Aug-16 21:19:03

Mine play fight/wrestle constantly but it's fairly rare anyone gets hurt.

mygorgeousmilo Sat 27-Aug-16 21:23:25

Just to add, that we are otherwise not at all accepting of violence and have a very calm and orderly home. The play fighting in our house is really almost akin to wrestling or any other sport. There are major no-nos that nobody would dare to act out, and my children are unusually (compared to some other kids) gentle and considerate and have never, ever, EVER been violent at school or towards another child at all.

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