Fostering Consent Through Roughhousing



The difference between roughhousing and “fighting” is that all people involved consent to playing rough. If a child does not want to play rough or wants to stop roughhousing, everyone else involved needs to stop. This is the basis of consent, but it’s not always so simple: Two friends may start with the assumption that they can push their friend to say hello. They do not need to ask each time. This means both children need to feel comfortable saying stop and both children should be able to read their friend’s body language to understand if pushing is OK. Other children in the room who are not roughhousing also have a say in the play but to a lesser degree. Children need to know their play won’t be disrupted by the children roughhousing (e.g. a block building being knocked down). Roughhousing may also get too loud for others who are engaged in other activities. The ensuing negotiations are how children learn to advocate for themselves as well as listen to the needs of others.


Attendees will:

  • Understand how roughhouse supports learning about consent.
  • Understand that real play requires consent from all the players.
  • Understand the importance of creating a play environment that includes roughhousing.

Learn about attending an on-demand session with this synopsis.

Note: This session is based on a live online training recorded June 16, 2020 with Mike Huber


1.25 Hours

Core Knowledge Area
Planning Learning Experiences And Curriculum

Content Level


Mike Huber And Jeff A Johnson


This session qualifies as approved Nebraska Department Of Education Office Of Early Childhood Automatically Accepted ECE In-Service Training


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