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Tuesday 18th June 2019

Mum's plea goes viral after seeking advice on dad's 'play-fights' with her son

Is it okay to play-fight with your child?

A worried mum has begged for advice after her son's 'play-fighting' with his grandad has repeatedly ended in injury.

In a plea on Mumsnet, which has gone viral, user MrMakersFartyParty explained her dilemma in a post titled "Grandad won't stop play fighting with son, ended in injury".

The mumsnet post was discussed on Good Morning Britain (Credit: ITV)

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In the thread, the mother revealed that her toddler's physical jostling with his grandad has left her feeling "powerless" as it ends with the tot complaining of pains in his wrists.

She told fellow Mumsnet users: "My son is two and my father always plays rough with him, flinging him about onto the sofa, tickling (past the point where my son clearly can't handle it and can barely breathe), holding him upside down and he holds him by his wrists and allows him to climb up his body.

"I feel so powerless and don't know how to handle this. My dad goes funny if I question anything he does and I have to really tread on eggshells with him."

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I have repeatedly said no to the play fighting because I have noticed my son being out of control, hyped up, and recently sometimes hitting.

The anxious mum went on to say that her son "is starting to think I'm horrible because I'm always ruining their 'fun'."

She continued: "I have repeatedly said no to the play fighting because I have noticed my son being out of control, hyped up, and recently sometimes hitting (never ever does this any other time).

"I have also said under no circumstances is he to hold him by the arms or wrists because he actually dislocated my arms when i was a child doing the same thing."

She followed on by saying that her dad continues with the behaviour, even though she is concerned "he will break his frigging arms".

The topic was debated on GMB (Credit: ITV)

At her wits end, she told Mumsnet users that, while she doesn't want to micro-manage their relationship, it's really getting her down as the toddler has started hurting his younger siblings in play-fights, too.

The post, which was discussed on Good Morning Britain today (Friday 11 January), sparked a fierce debate on whether it's healthy for parents to be play-fighting with their children, or not.

Behavioural specialist Lorrine Marer told hosts Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway that too much rough-and-tumble with kids could lead to normalising that sort of behaviour, which they could take to the playground.

However, Al Ferguson from The Dad’s Network argued that play-fighting with his kids helps strengthen their bond, and believes it's important to childhood development.

Is rough and tumble wrong? (Credit: ITV)

Those responding on Mumsnet were unanimous in their responses, slamming the grandad for ignoring his daughter's wishes and for putting his grandson at risk.

One said: "You're not powerless. You're the child's mother. [...] Just grow a pair and tell your parents you want this to stop, for the reasons outlined above. Who cares if your dad 'goes funny'?"

Another added: "I'm sorry, no way would I allow this. He is hurting your child and going against what you have specifically said. The man is either a idiot or doing it on purpose, either way. [...] Supervised visits only from now on!"

"Stop the play dates," insisted another, while another agreed, saying: "I'd stop them seeing my kids. They can't be trusted. Your mum was ineffective and protecting you when you were younger resulting in injuries caused by your dad who sounds absolutely horrid. Don't repeat the pattern."

Others called the grandad "abusive" and "controlling", and accused the mum of being "in denial".

At the time of writing, the debate was still continuing with more than 200 responses slamming the grandad's behaviour.

Do you believe play-fighting should be stopped? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!