Welcome to a new ongoing feature of the NAHDN blog, Dadvice, where we ask dads what they think.

Have a question? Need some Dadvice? Curious what other dads have to say? Please send your question to blog@athomedad.org.


As dads we have all done this at some point. I think it is a rite of passage for most men and their kids. Roughhousing.

I know that I have been guilty of throwing my kids up as high as I possibly can and catching them, something you don’t normally see with moms. How many of us toss our children in the pool? For me and my kids, playing in this manner just comes naturally. Dad on the floor instantly means jungle gym and my kids like to jump on me.

Are they trying to hurt me? No. They are just having fun and to be honest, unless you aren’t guarding your most precious of areas there isn’t too much that can go wrong with play wrestling.

Most times our bouts end with a tickle fights and my kids learn what is appropriate and what isn’t in the process.

Recently, this video surfaced from Gavin McInnes called How To Fight a Baby, who has made a video like this before on Funny Or Die which was all made in good fun, to be funny, obviously. So why are people up in arms about this?


We asked dads to to give their Dadvice on the subject.

I think the video’s a bit edgy but the ending, where he gets his eye scratched and then has an eye bandage, is actually hilarious. And you’ll note that the bed is super soft with comforters, etc, so it’s not like the baby’s getting hurt at all. He seems to be enjoying it, actually. Lots of people think babies are like fragile little glass dolls, but they’re not, they enjoy a bit of rough and tumble from my experience. Jeez, everyone just needs to lighten up a bit. No babies were hurt in the making of this video! Reminds me of the cartoon about tossing babies in the air. The Mom won’t do it at all, the Dad wants to see how high the baby will go. 🙂

Dave Taylor – Go Fatherhood

I agree with Dave on this one. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing and garnering tons of hits and faux outrage. Here we are watching a man with his child, surrounded by tons of fluffy pillows and holding his child in a way that supports his head, ensures he lands in what seem to be safe positions – all things we’ve done.  There is a much greater chance of a child being hurt by swinging them by their wrists, something deemed completely acceptable.  It’s not, and I’ll attach the video describing why. We did it and actually dislocated Turtle’s elbow, it’s called Nanny’s Elbow.  It’s really easy to do and extremely common. Here’s the vid.

Chris VanDijik – Skinned Knees in Short Pants

Honestly I think it is much ado about nothing.  I watched it a bunch of times and he isn’t really advocating fighting the baby everything he is doing is physical play.  (Barring the part where he play chokes the baby, that bit made me a little uncomfortable.)  What I think should be noted is that he set up an environment that the kid wouldn’t be hurt (pillows and bed) and while the video was called how to fight  a baby he was actually demonstrating physical play.  Obviously he was trying to make a viral funny video so I can’t speak to his true intentions but I know I have played with my kids in a very similar fashion since they were small and it has made for good bonding with them.  He kept it safe and the kid was having a good time…

Eric Bennion – Diary Dad

What do you think? Is “roughhousing” with your kids OK? Even beneficial? When?

Please leave a comment below!

Have a question? Need some Dadvice? Curious what other dads have to say? Please send your question to blog@athomedad.org.