FOR MUMS

Arms and guns

toygun My son does not have any toy guns, not even a water gun. I’m also very careful with the television programs he gets to watch — no violent cartoons at all. Even the news is carefully monitored so that he doesn’t hear about the worst events. I also know that his teachers at school are very adamant that no “shooting” is allowed during school time.
So then why is my 4-year-old boy so attracted to guns? At every occasion he will pretend to have one. If he gets his hands on two wooden sticks they will become a gun immediately, and the same thing happens with pens, ice-cream plastic palettes, even straws.
The other day he told me that when he grows up, after he turns 18, he will “make war”!
Why? Is it innate? Male hormones? (And mind you, he is not even an aggressive child, rather totally the opposite.)
Now my question is, should I pretend not to hear? Or should I explain at every occasion that we do not like arms, that guns are dangerous and only the police should carry guns?
Hopefully it’s just a phase and it will be over soon!

-Michela


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Comments (14)

July 21, 2009

I think it is a total boy thing, part of their DNA. I just don’t make a big deal out of it and they know they are not allowed to say kill.


Sandra
July 21, 2009

My nephew was not allowed guns of any sort and he built himself one out of lego. He is now 16 and a pacifist. Don’t worry, must be a hormone thing.


Esther
July 21, 2009

Maybe you should ‘shoot back’! (Just kidding)
I’m sure it’s just a phase. Men!


July 21, 2009

I guess if you’re going to have a rationed discussion with him you have to be very sure about where you stand. Why is it ok for a police man to have a gun? How come he can pretend to be a police man but not pretend to use a gun? If it is ok for police to have guns why are you not keen on him aspiring to guns & war? He may not ask these kinds of questions immediately but at some point it may occur to him.

My Uncle used to give us the ‘guns are not ok, even as toys’ talk when we were kids. We rolled our eyes and tried to catch him out but these days I find myself repeating his words, the man had a point!


July 21, 2009

I had a similar experience with my 3 year old tomboy – no guns, no television, no reason to think about guns. But one day, having played “Power Rangers” with the boys at preschool, she came home and made herself a gun out of lego.

“I don’t like guns because they hurt people,” I said.

“I know but it’s okay, because I only shoot wolves, monsters and robots,” she replied.

So we’ve reached an agreement that it’s okay to pretend to shoot monsters, wolves and robots but NOT people.

Well, it works for us.


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July 22, 2009

One of my best mates had a falling out with her sister over this. Her son is not allowed to play with guns or pretend anything is a gun. Her nephew is allowed to do it all and at a play session a few months back – they had both just turned two – my friend intervened when yet another gun game started up. She asked them to stop and when her nephew wouldn’t, she removed her son out of the situ and occupied him with something else. Her sis was very offended so followed a rather terse phonecall as she feels that boys should just be boys. In the end it was resolved but it’s shark infested waters when you have polar opposite views.
I think it does seem to be partly an instinctive thing but I think repeatedly saying it’s not appropriate and diverting attention so far works for my friends.


July 22, 2009

We have had the same situation in this house. Our son didn’t know the word gun until he started school. He is five and half now and we’ve had a talk about why guns are dangerous and not necessary for most of us. He still plays a few “shooty” games with sticks sometimes but it seems to be getting less. He does the “I only shoot monsters and badies” thing but it still gets to me a bit as I have always been so careful not to expose him to any images of shooting. I was happy to hear Sandra’s comment about her 16 y.o nephew, there’s hope for our little gun toters.


Emilie
July 22, 2009

Don’t know about gender specific as my little girl was also running around this evening pretending to be spider man and shooting monsters. I guess at that age the idea of death, life, cause and effect are still quite abstract and I would be more worried about someone playing at guns as a teenager than as a small child. That being said I don’t think I am ever going to buy my kids any guns…..


Heather
July 22, 2009

We can not close our eyes to these situations. boys will be boys, it is a hormone thing, like beating their chest and grilling meat. There are fun water toys now that spray water and are not shaped like a gun. The dollar store carries them. It is more important to make sure your child understands gun safety, especially if they’re not exposed at your house, but the friend down the street has parents that are gun advocates. Safety and appropriate conversation. Only you will know when the time is right. Stay strong mommies!!


Esther
July 22, 2009

I know, I also do not want any guns in the house either. But having said that — how should I feel about a bow and some arrows? And what about a sword???


July 23, 2009

this morning i told my two year old that if he didn’t eat his breakfast he’d be in big trouble. he picked up his spoon, aimed, and shot me. i walked away in shock. ten minutes later he still hadn’t eaten his breakfast (this kid never eats) so i told him he’d be in even bigger trouble this time if he didn’t start eating. he picked up his spoon, aimed, and shot me again. this time I fell to the floor and pretended to die. he burst out laughing and couldn’t stop. breakfast then ended. someone in there isn’t behaving appropriately, but i’m too toed too figure out who.


July 23, 2009

this morning i told my two year old that if he didn’t eat his breakfast he’d be in big trouble. he picked up his spoon, aimed, and shot me. i walked away in shock. ten minutes later he still hadn’t eaten his breakfast (this kid never eats) so i told him he’d be in even bigger trouble this time if he didn’t start eating. he picked up his spoon, aimed, and shot me again. this time I fell to the floor and pretended to die. he burst out laughing and couldn’t stop. breakfast then ended. someone in there isn’t behaving appropriately, but i’m too tired too figure out who.


July 23, 2009

I went through the same phase with my boy, thankfully it was only a brief one. He knows guns are not good toys but it’s always difficult when other children emulate power rangers and other so called kids heros and he doesn’t want to be left out. He often suggests a ball game when he’s invited in taking part in fighting games and dismisses them as boring. I hope it will last!


Celine Padestres
July 25, 2009

Same case at home with guns… many explanations and questions to answer.
The main message was war is terrible, nobody win.
And kill people is punished by law.
That will not stop the gun game but kids understand. They also needs to learn virtual vs real.


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