Do you let your kids play with toy guns? Do you restrict their play to water guns and not BB guns? Or do you give them free rein as long as they don’t get carried away with it? Is it all over-hyped precaution or is it an important principle to teach kids?
This is a comment by Todd, Mike, CJ Cat on the post “Kids and Toy Guns: Pretend Battles Rage On, Long Past Newtown“.
I understand the conflicted feelings, but I also know that kids will make a gun out of just about anything. Long before my son ever owned a toy Nerf gun, he was making them out of Legos, Tinker Toys, even out of his sandwich. As I child, I made them from sticks and whatever else I could find outside. The key is the engagement with your child about what is real and what is not — what is appropriate and what is not.
What if the act of play killing is their was of visualizing and experimenting with violence, and your guidance than help shape their emotional reaction to it, and how they eventually feel about guns and violence? So then the play violence could actually be a good thing. Either way, having thoughtful, involved parents is more important than the play and plaything.
Also, we forget that the violence on TV and movies is also portrayed with melodramatic sadness when a good guy is killed. For me at least, that has a significant impact.
CJ Cat said:
I totally agree that you need to just let your kids’ imagination roll. If that means they play with imaginary guns, then so be it.
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Photo credit: Flickr / Makuahine Pa’i Ki’i