Stories tagged roughhousing

Apr
05
2007

You kids are like a bunch of wild animals!: Horseplay helps animals develop social skills. Photo by steve_gobeil via flickr.com
You kids are like a bunch of wild animals!: Horseplay helps animals develop social skills. Photo by steve_gobeil via flickr.com

For centuries, mothers have told their kids to “cut out your rough-housing!” (Certainly, my mother said that. With three boys, she said it a lot.) But now it turns out that rough and tumble play is actually important for development.

A new study from England shows that animals who engage in horseplay (no pun intended) develop better social skills. They can read a situation better, and respond more appropriately, than animals that had been sheltered from such activity.

So, the next time your mother tells you to simmer down, just say, “But Ma! We’re investigating dominance behavior in primate social structures!”

(This column takes no responsibility for how your mother may react.)