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Rough-and-Tumble Play: A Way to Tackle Socially Constructed Norms

by Nick Terrones
November/December 2017
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/rough-and-tumble-play-a-way-to-tackle-socially-constructed-norms/5023859/

Last May, I had the honor and privilege to present a workshop about rough-and-tumble play with toddlers at the World Forum on Early Care and Education in Auckland, New Zealand. The session I shared with a new colleague was about play. However, my new friend and I decided that we would focus on children’s right to play, and more specifically on the question, “What kind of rights are we really supporting?”

I spoke about how rough-and-tumble play is generally perceived in young children, and specifically, why it is important for adults to embrace this kind of play as a mode for teachable moments in social justice. After our session, I walked out feeling confident and like I had made an impact on other educators’ thinking. Then a colleague from Canada approached me and said she had shared a live Facebook feed of the sessions she had attended. Apparently my views and talk about rough-and-tumble play had rubbed her colleagues back home the wrong way!

“My colleagues back at my center reacted strongly to your presentation on rough-and-tumble play as I posted some of your key points to our Facebook feed. They reacted with things like, ‘He’s promoting violence at an early ...

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