Have you ever worried that toy guns could lead your kid to become violent? Many parents do not allow their kids to play with toy guns. However, most male adults who used to play toy guns when they were children do not commit violent crimes.
Do toy guns lead boys to real life violence?
According to doctor Michael Thompson, child psychologist and author of It’s a Boy! Your Son’s Development from Birth to Age 18, there is no scientific evidence suggesting that playing war games in childhood could result in a kid’s real life aggression. Usually, playtime is affected by genders. Boys tend to choose aggressive games such as fighting monsters or battle wars while girls are more inclined to engage with dolls, cooking or family games.
Also, a recent survey shows that nearly 60% to 80% of boys play with aggressive toys at home and about 30% of girls do it. Surprisingly, many studies show that child play can be linked to social and cognitive development. With an imaginary game, a child will learn how to control impulses, read facial cues and body languages, figure out their place in a group, how to adjust their behavior socially, think symbolically, and so on. It also allows children to act out with their fears and aspirations.
Through the mind of a child, their gun play is a fun activity and it is not as violent as adults see it. An imaginary play could foster self-regulation, creativity, and expression in a kid, which is essential for success.
On the other hand, psychiatrists say that violent people typically display some signs including cruelty to animals, extreme isolation, and rejection, a feeling of being persecuted and misunderstood. Experts say that pretend weapons or imaginary games bring the opposite.
How to deal with kid’s toys?
There are some tips that parents could use to deal with their boys.
−Watch your words. A parent should be careful when using words to criticize their boy’s form of play. This is because kids are too young and they are easy getting hurt.
−Play it out. Banning the game will not be effective. Instead, parents could play with a kid to understand why they like it.
−Take a stand. The kid makes noises when playing and this affects the neighbors, parents could suggest them to keep the volume down.
−Suggest other games. Parents could suggest their kids change to other games if they do not want their kids to play toy guns. These include playing soccer, playing basketball or go swimming.
You might also want to read:
- Why Boys Bully and How They Can Be Helped
- Boys and Girls Learn Differently
- Suicide Can Strike Children as Young as 5
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: August 30, 2017 | Last Modified: August 30, 2017
Toys guns: Do they lead to real life violence? http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/toy-guns-do-they-lead-real-life-violence#1. Accessed April 15, 2017
Violence in children. http://www.mamamia.com.au/violence-in-children/. Accessed April 15, 2017
Gun violence: is there a link to childhood toy guns? https://www.usacarry.com/gun-violence-link-childhood-toy-guns/. Accessed April 15, 2017