Rough- and-Tumble Play: Bad or Good

Have you ever been in a neighborhood where you see all the children on the street playing together, but then it seems not so friendly? Well, that is rough and tumble play; wrestling/ play fighting. It may be difficult to tell when it is real fighting or fake fighting at first glance, but there are signs to know if it’s real or not.

The biggest sign about whether it’s playful or not would be the child’s facial expressions. You will see excitement if its playful and anger/crying if it’s not. Playful fighting, no one gets bullied or gets forced to do anything and they take turns, I tackle you here and then you tackle me back, while we both scream and laugh.

I know many people, especially parents, are nervous about this type of play. It is difficult to tell if it is friendly or not and the children involved could potentially get hurt. Also, if a parent allows rough and tumble play at home and the childcare center does not allow this type of play, the child may have a difficulty knowing when they can play rough vs when they cannot.

Even though there are many concerns, rough and tumble play can be beneficial.

  • Physical Benefits: Increased large muscle strength, increased balance, and increased endurance
  • Problem Solving skills increased
  • Social Skill Benefits: Increase in emotional judgement, increase in body language skills, and increase in language skills
  • Emotional Benefits: Increase in self-regulation and increase in understanding of own emotions and others

“Rough-and-Tumble Play: a Guide.” Raising Children Network, 24 June 2019,

“What Is Rough & Tumble Play?” Explore & Develop, 27 Sept. 2019,

Santa or Religion, Is There a Difference?

I know your first reaction would be ‘Yes of course there’s a difference’, but what really makes them different from each other? Is it because one is widely accepted or because one is preached about in churches, temples, or synagogues? Because if you really investigate it, are there ways to prove that it exists?

Some may say ‘I saw God’ when they come out of anesthesia, but there is a perfectly good explanation for why someone may see this while under. This is like the situation with a medium, they could never have known the things they did, but they are just amazing body language readers. In order to understand we have to investigate further into the biochemistry of belief.  

Belief isn’t something you are born with; you weren’t born with the belief in let’s say ghosts. Belief is something that is socially constructed from what you have learned and heard about all our lives by teachers or parents or friends, etc.

Belief is something linked with thought process and emotions combined.  The thought brought with belief goes through a stepped process through the brain, it starts in one synapse and travels to other synapses crossing the brain and ended up in a type of “higher processing” like the frontal lobe. The thought carried with belief is also emotionally involved since it is carried along the hippocampus (Memory), amygdala (emotions like anger), and the hypothalamus (displeasure and regulatory functions).  All true beliefs are processed in the right temporoparietal junctions which controls processing and attention.

If you believe strongly in anything, you get an emotional connection to it. For example, let’s search body dysmorphia. Body Dysmorphia is when a person sees themselves physically in a morphed view. The person could be super skinny, and their brain will construct a different belief like they are fat, and the person will genuinely see themselves as fat, not just believe they are but physically see themselves as fat.

The brain has a very strong influence on the body physically like in schizophrenia, how that person can see and hear things that are not there. So really if someone says they have seen God or seen Santa Clause can we really believe them? We know how strong the influence the brain has on the body so could believing in something so hard create fake sights or sounds that the person will take as real?

My personal belief is that the belief in Santa Clause and religion are very similar thus giving less significance to the belief in God, Jesus, Prophets, Poseidon, and many more religious figures. I do not personally believe in God, angels or demons, and heaven and hell; what I believe in is that there is some type of higher power, but I do not know what it is or if it exists. So, is there really a difference between Santa Clause and any religious figure or other belief like the Easter bunny?  

Sathyanarayana Rao, T.S., et al. “The Biochemistry of Belief.” Indian Journal of Psychiatry, Medknow Publications, 2009,

Monster Mash

Are you going crazy with nothing to do with your kids? Do they keep asking what you are doing or when you are going to play with them? Since Halloween is coming up I have an activity that you can do with the whole family that can fix the boredom of being home. This activity will require many items, but most can be found inside your home.

Art play can be a numerous number of things from painting, to coloring, to cutting and pasting as well. Art is not only fun to create it has great benefits for children as well! Art play can help develop a child’s fine motor skills, cognitive development skills, math, and language skills.

So, what is the monster mash, you might be asking. Well it is a name for an arts and craft activity that is fun and has so many ways to be creative. You can change this activity to make as simple or as detailed as you want! You know your own child’s skill level and you can simplify as much as you would like.  The items you will need are

  • Tissue Box (Any small box will do)
  • Paper towel rolls (optional)
  • Paint/ Construction paper (Or both)
  • Scissors (optional)
  • Glue/ Tape (Hot glue works best)
  • Various decorating materials: markers, googily eyes, pipe cleaners, feathers, buttons, etc…

The first step is to paint the box or paste colored construction paper all over it. This gives the box a nice background of color to decorate and not a plain brown. The next step if you chose to do this step is to paint or color the paper towel rolls and cut or design them however you would like. The last step is the best of all the steps, take all the extra decorating materials you have an go crazy! If you don’t have googily eyes you can make eyes with marker and construction paper.

Ways Monster Mash helps development =>

Fine Motor Skills: Grasping the different materials like the markers and scissors help the fine motor muscles get stronger. This can help your child with writing, buttoning a coat, and other tasks that require precise movement.

Cognitive Development: Monster Mash can help with practice skills such as cause and effect (ex. If I put this feather in the glue and wait, the feather will stick to the box). They can also practice critical thinking skills by creating a picture of what they want to do and following their idea.

Math Skills: Understanding size, shape, making comparisons, and counting.

Language: As your child describes their artwork and how they got there helps develop new vocabulary.

More about Monster Mash

Fear vs. Phobia

Would the word Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia strike fear in your heart? For most people it doesn’t, but there are people who this would make fear shoot through them like a lightning bolt even before they read it. Those people have a fear of long words, which that 36-letter word stands for. I know it seems funny to have a fear of long words, but it’s a real phobia. It’s just as real as aviophobia (fear of flying), coulrophobia (fear of clowns), or even numerophobia (fear of numbers).

Fears and phobias are continuously used interchangeably. Fears and phobias, I hate to say it, are not the same thing. Even though they are very similar; they still have differences. A fear does make you anxious and can make you uncomfortable, but a phobia is even worse.

Fear is a natural, human emotion. It lets us know there is a presence of danger or harm. A natural fear response can contain…

  • Anxiety
  • Queasy stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling shaky

But fear symptoms are manageable, and you can still live life as is.

A phobia, on the other hand, has a fear response to an item that is not necessarily a danger or harm to them. The fear response to someone with a phobia mimics the exact symptoms of typical fear, but the object or action is not an immediate threat. Phobias engage the flight, fight, or freeze response to everyday objects or actions that most people aren’t bothered by or pertain no threat. Some phobia responses include…

  • Cold sweats
  • Crying
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Hyperventilation
  • Heart palpitations
  • Panic attacks
  • Dizziness

Many people have a phobia of some kind, I know I do. I had a phobic attack in one of my classes just last week. I was in my psychology class, going over what we will cover in the class and looking at the syllabus. When we reached the topic of fears.

We all started to mention what type of fears we had; some said lighting, some said heights, some said in closed spaces, and I said spiders. For me spiders are my number one fear.

We all started to mention what type of fears we had; some said lighting, some said heights, some said in closed spaces, and I said spiders. For me spiders are my number one fear.

 Obviously, this whole thing was just a ‘fun’ exercise. The next slide on the power point was a big, hairy, creepy, dark, SPIDER. I could not handle seeing the picture of the spider and broke down into tears in my psychology class. All in all, phobias are no joke.