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In his pretend play,my 4yr old loves his toys guns & swords where he’s the commando & shoots down the enemy monsters, zombies or even the dog. She’s his favourite roving target- no Nerf bullets just chasing after her. He often tells me it’s only pretend & I don’t see an issue with it,nor do I think it evokes any violence in his behaviour. He’s a well adjusted little boy. Hell,I loved playing cops & robbers or cowboys & Indians when I was growing up & I didn’t turn out to be a serial killer! What concerns me is that he got told off at Kindy for using a stick as a gun & I think this confused him somewhat as he told them it wasn’t a real gun & that it was just pretend. We had a good talk about violence, safe playground rules & how it might frightened the other kids. I think he understood & I suggested he keep his gun slinging confined to our house. Is it wrong for my son to play with guns? Isn’t this just a part of growing up or have I psychologically brained washed my child?


Posted by damish70, 24th September 2014


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  • I grew up into a well adjusted human being and boys played with guns when I was a kid. My children had toy/pretend guns and neither are violent terrorists. I think there’s a lot more involved in creating violent human beings then playing at killing things

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  • Children enjoy pretend play when they are young; however, schools do have rules around this type of play due to the different experiences of children; as some children have experienced and do experience trauma and violence. Children can play how they like at home and with their friendship group.

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  • I cant be alone when I say this, I always play guns with my sons we have a blast there is absolutely nothing inappropriate about it unless you make it inappropriate. We are usually police officers doing our duty :)

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  • My 3yr old is exactly the same, he loves his nerf guns and loves running around shooting imaginary bad guys. He also loves iron man and often pretends to be iron man or spiderman.
    At first I wasn’t happy with that kind of play and didn’t want his dad to get him the nerf guns but I soon realised that its really hurting nobody, and all the other kids in our street whom he plays with all have nerf guns and play super heros, even at 3yrs he knows hes only pretending and doesn’t actually intend on hurting anyone!

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  • Look, I didn’t want my kids to play with guns. And yet when they started school, they picked it up from other kids, and could turn anything into a gun. I don’t think there’s necessarily a problem with your son, but maybe you want to keep an eye on it and encourage him to play other things and other ways sometimes as well? You’ll know best if he’s getting a bit too obsessed.

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  • I think we’ve all gone a bit overboard on this sort of thing. Schools and day care ban it and that’s their rules, they’re just going along with the rest of what society wants. You’re right, we all grew up with toy guns and other pretend weapons, we even had cap guns and we didn’t turn out to be terrorists. What your children do in their own home and backyard is up to you :-)

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  • I think it’s just a part of pretend play and don’t see anything wrong with it. My sister in law however banned all toy guns from her house and if the kids were given one would take it away straight away.

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