My four young boys have greatly impressed upon me the value of daily wrestling matches. I am convinced that these children actually have some sort of inner quota that I must meet for them to function at optimum health. For the sake of their overall well-being, I simply must find time for a hearty tickle-fight.
If you also have small children, you may want to consider incorporating this into your own daily homeschool and/or fitness plan.
Preliminary studies (in this house) have shown several surprising benefits of the daily wrestle for both mother and child. They are as follows, in no particular order.
Burn off those cinnamon rolls: for both mother and child. You can burn about 300 calories in a half hour- if you are playing with enthusiasm! (just think- approximately 10 minutes will burn off that snack-size Snickers bar!)
Practice the liturgy of apology: Someone screams in pain. Someone screams "it was an accident!" Mother reminds, "even if it is an accident, the kind thing to do is stop to see if they are OK and say you are sorry that they got hurt. Do that now and then we will get back to wrestling."
Teach them to stuff their emotions:
Someone screams in pain, again. Mother gets very serious, examines the injury, and says, "Oh no... I guess I will have to cut it off!" Child stops screaming, giggles, and runs away. Wrestling resumes.
Your kids will be smarter: Teach them things they won’t learn in preschool. Even young children can learn the fine distinctions between a tickle and a pinch, and the nuances of a zerbit and a bite. (I love that somebody wrote up a definition for zerbit.)
Collect more data: Observe which children understand the art of "talking smack." Some children may get serious and worried. Others will light up and reveal their inner smart-aleck.
Earn some quiet time:
Wrestling done well will yield tired children who will sit in front of the TV for a half hour without fighting. (How do you think I find time to blog?)
Teach them to debate under pressure: Mother voices grave concern over the condition of the child's toes. "Oh no! Your toes are loose! I'm going to have to pull them for you!" Child then must attempt to reason with mother while laughing and panicking.
Teach them not to crumble:
When the wrestling leads to one screaming, then two, then all of them, do not be fooled. It is a strategy they use to get mom to fix everything like she always does. Mother's counter-attack: throw self on the floor in imitation of the most dramatic child and wail along with them. Within 15 seconds one will start laughing, and the fun will resume.
Impress their friends:
Wrestle your kids when their friends are over. Experience the enjoyment of pinning your child on the mat while his wide-eyed foreign friend stares at you with a mix of fear and awe.
Reign them in: There is a time and a place for cannon-balling into each other and sitting on large piles of little boys, there is also a time to stop such things. A good lesson for all involved.
Give affection on the sly:
Some children pretend to be too big or mature for hugs, but playful wrestling can be a well-received form of affection.
Let 'em at you. They'll love it.
And in truth, you don’t have to “feel like it” for it to be fun... for them. Your kids can experience the full enjoyment of kneeing you in the back whether you are healthy or sick. Your headache does not make the tackling any less hilarious. Little kids are very flexible that way.
Impress other mothers: Nothing says “I’m an awesome mom” like scratches on your face.