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How to make others understand how we feel about superheros - Page 4

post #61 of 91
Isn't Robin Hood at least as amoral as Batman? One's a vigilante in a city where every level of justice is corrupt to the core; the other steals from the rich to give to the poor, making him also kind of a vigilante in a corrupt world, only attacking rather more nebulous villains (random rich barons, not mob bosses). Don't get me wrong, I like 'em both, but I'm not sure I'd say Robin Hood is more appropriate/black and white/virtuous than Batman.
post #62 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcgirl View Post
He's a chef!
LOL. That's a good one!
For now, Wolverine just uses his claws to chop firewood (DS sees his dad do that).
But I could totally see him being a chef!
post #63 of 91
My two-year-old just told me Dr. Doom (DH leaves his comics around) was going to come and eat him. But then again, he'd said earlier Frere Jacques was going to eat him so I guess French folk songs are out, too.
post #64 of 91
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies. I admit to being confused by the "there is no way to avoid it" my mother raised us (including boys) without violent, aggressive play or weapons play. She simply did not allow it. All of us were (and still are) VERY imaginative and never felt stifled by the rules. "No toy weapons" to us was just like "no blue hair" LOL.

It makes me a little sad to hear from so many Moms (especially at MDC) that there is nothing I can do to prevent my little boy from violent weapons play and "killing".

I also admit that I don't understand why limiting this type of play is stifling creativity. The child I keep will ONLY play with action figures and weapons, he will ONLY reenact movie scenes, rarely making up his own scenarios. He does not color, play with blocks etc. How is this creative?

I am still reading the links provided here. Thanks SO much for all your input!
post #65 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe View Post
I also admit that I don't understand why limiting this type of play is stifling creativity. The child I keep will ONLY play with action figures and weapons, he will ONLY reenact movie scenes, rarely making up his own scenarios. He does not color, play with blocks etc. How is this creative?
i dont get how that is NOT creativity. his interest is action figures and weapons. if he wasnt given weapons he would create it out of sticks and legos. and he reenacts movie scenes. how is that different from a little girl who copies play from mommy. we call that imaginative pretend play. if i remember correctly he is about 4 or 5. that is a ripe age for pretend and imaginary.

the thing is it is ALSO the age of one mindedness, of obsession. he will have to colour pretty soon enough.

and on top of that there are many kids who DONT like pretend or imaginary play. they just DONT. does that mean if they dont play with blocks its not creative play.

of course i abhor how much violent play there is.

but neither am i against it. i mean if your kid was born in a small tribe his creative play WOULD include violent play expressing the 'killing' he sees around him - like hunting or the killing of their domestic animal.

and another thing, just coz it worked with you guys and your mom doesnt mean it would for your son. i have seeen plenty of 2 year olds - boys and girls - who have not seen anything violent - nothing and they do it on their own.

sometimes at least that's how i feel. we try to 'clean up too much'. not saying that's what you are doing. we get so caught up in the philosophy that we dont look at the reality of life. of what our children want. and that's all i want you to be aware of.
post #66 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I admit to being confused by the "there is no way to avoid it" my mother raised us (including boys) without violent, aggressive play or weapons play. She simply did not allow it. All of us were (and still are) VERY imaginative and never felt stifled by the rules. "No toy weapons" to us was just like "no blue hair" LOL.

It makes me a little sad to hear from so many Moms (especially at MDC) that there is nothing I can do to prevent my little boy from violent weapons play and "killing".

I also admit that I don't understand why limiting this type of play is stifling creativity. The child I keep will ONLY play with action figures and weapons, he will ONLY reenact movie scenes, rarely making up his own scenarios. He does not color, play with blocks etc. How is this creative?

I am still reading the links provided here. Thanks SO much for all your input!
We were raised in a similar way about certain types of play. Anything violent, noisy, or 'weird' was not okay.

The reason it worked with my sister and I was we did not have room at home to express what really interested us or mattered to us. Losing our parents' approval was really a big deal. Are you sure that none of you ever felt stifled by the rules? And do you know what your brothers were playing at other people's houses, on the schoolyard, etc.?

It's had a lifelong impact on me that as a writer and artist, I struggle with a lot - that what REALLY interests me is not acceptable. Now it's true - not every person or child will react that way. But I know I did.

That said I don't think you have to allow the kid you mind to engage with your son with language you don't allow. But if you were my caregiver, I would wish that you would stop judging my child as "not creative" and my parenting as poor just because he's in a superhero phase. (Which is kind of what it sounds like in this post.)

I find that a little disrespectful.
post #67 of 91
No one is saying you have to run out and buy your baby toy guns and action figures (even when he gets older). I have never, and will never, buy toy guns. But, I'm not going to stop the kids from playing cops and robbers, or Spiderman, as they run around the house. I have 3 boys (and 1 girl who sometimes likes this kind of play, too). The only thing you'll do when forbidding creative, "superhero" play, is suppressing that inside them. Why not let it get it out when they are 3 and 5 years old, instead of leaving it so they are intrigued by their friend's shoot'em up video games when they are 11? Not saying those things are exclusive of one another, it's just that letting kids act out what they are imagining can be a good thing - even when it's saving the world or being the one destroying the world. They're just kids. It's all fun and games.
post #68 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I admit to being confused by the "there is no way to avoid it" my mother raised us (including boys) without violent, aggressive play or weapons play. She simply did not allow it. All of us were (and still are) VERY imaginative and never felt stifled by the rules. "No toy weapons" to us was just like "no blue hair" LOL.
I suppose it depends on the child and the child's interests. My son was 2 when he learned about Star Wars from the other kids at daycare. He came home obsessively talking about "Ha Soda and Dark Feeder". Everything became a lightsaber or a blaster. He stopped wanting to play anything else for well over a year. For awhile when he was 3, I tried preventing him from playing the violent stuff, and he just completely stopped playing. He would literally sit and stare at the wall. I *think* he was still playing Star Warsin his head. I lifted the ban, and he started playing again.

BTW - in real life, my son is about as non-violent as they come. He likes sticking up for other kids, but he never gets physical in real life. He's dealt with a bully so mean that I found myself kind of wishing he'd just deck the kid (*blush*), but my son never did. What the kids play really doesn't determine what they're like outside of play.
post #69 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe View Post

It makes me a little sad to hear from so many Moms (especially at MDC) that there is nothing I can do to prevent my little boy from violent weapons play and "killing".
Well then this article, from a 2006 issue of Mothering Magazine, is sure to surprise you!
post #70 of 91
Wow, we were allowed toy weapons (no killing in front of mom... we just waited until she left) AND blue hair. Not on her dime, though.
post #71 of 91
I was just thinking about this more. My kids have light sabers, and toy swords (ala the foam ones made by lego). But they just don't happen to have toy guns, as I guess I draw the line there - maybe b/c I'm anti-real gun, too. I dunno. But, they certainly make guns out of other objects at times, including with their own hands - so I can't all-out ban 'gun play' even if I wanted to. I guess I can't imagine being that strict and being able to actually enforce it (especially with multiple kids). Though, I am sure when I had one who was only a baby, I would have assumed that might be ideal and quite possible. It really doesn't matter how sheltered they are, and how limited their actual toys are - kids, mainly little boys, will act out superhero and even shooting, at times. They will also pretend to be daddies and carry around dolls - and play happily with Barbie dolls if given a chance... so, it's not like they are only interested in possible violent imagination play. Not at all, IME.
post #72 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen'nZoe View Post
What the kids play really doesn't determine what they're like outside of play.
post #73 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
We were raised in a similar way about certain types of play. Anything violent, noisy, or 'weird' was not okay.

The reason it worked with my sister and I was we did not have room at home to express what really interested us or mattered to us. Losing our parents' approval was really a big deal. Are you sure that none of you ever felt stifled by the rules? And do you know what your brothers were playing at other people's houses, on the schoolyard, etc.?

It's had a lifelong impact on me that as a writer and artist, I struggle with a lot - that what REALLY interests me is not acceptable. Now it's true - not every person or child will react that way. But I know I did.

That said I don't think you have to allow the kid you mind to engage with your son with language you don't allow. But if you were my caregiver, I would wish that you would stop judging my child as "not creative" and my parenting as poor just because he's in a superhero phase. (Which is kind of what it sounds like in this post.)

I find that a little disrespectful.
For us it was just toy weapons and blue hair. I was in high school in the 80's weird was ok LOL. We never did feel stifled. I was always active in art and music and writing (still am), my siblings were very active in creative areas. Noisy was never an issue. We are all happy, peaceful, loving, successful adults. None of us feel deprived at not being allowed super violent weapons play.

And sure we played some of those things away from home but since we knew it was not allowed at home it was no big deal. It was a fun game nothing more.

I am not trying to insult the child or his parents (although his mother DID NOT want him exposed to such violent programming so young but the Dad's parents undermine her at every turn). I adore the child, but I don't adore the violent play. The mother is also looking for answers as to how to curb this type of play but even after asking he be given NO more super hero stuff for a while just this weekend the Gparants bought him TWELVE new action figures from Ben 10 (which I have not seen). I do wish the child would play ANYTHING else for five minutes I admit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
No one is saying you have to run out and buy your baby toy guns and action figures (even when he gets older). I have never, and will never, buy toy guns. But, I'm not going to stop the kids from playing cops and robbers, or Spiderman, as they run around the house. I have 3 boys (and 1 girl who sometimes likes this kind of play, too). The only thing you'll do when forbidding creative, "superhero" play, is suppressing that inside them. Why not let it get it out when they are 3 and 5 years old, instead of leaving it so they are intrigued by their friend's shoot'em up video games when they are 11? Not saying those things are exclusive of one another, it's just that letting kids act out what they are imagining can be a good thing - even when it's saving the world or being the one destroying the world. They're just kids. It's all fun and games.
I guess part of it is that I feel like if I give in to violent play at 2 then why not violent video games and movies at 5. I know people whose preschoolers play games like Grand Theft Auto and other uber violent games. One of my dearest friends 6 year old has seen all the Halloween and Friday 13th movies. They say the same thing "Oh it does not faze him" I guess I WANT extreme violence to faze my child. I don't want that to all seem normal to him. IMO "killing" is not play and not normal. But...I never claimed not to be different LOL I will be happy to teach him how to use a gun or to fence when he is old enough but I don't believe guns and swords (or grenades for that matter) are toys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doodlebugsmom View Post
Well then this article, from a 2006 issue of Mothering Magazine, is sure to surprise you!
Reading now.
post #74 of 91
Thread Starter 
Still reading the article but this stuck out to me:

Encourage Imaginative Weapons Play
Carlsson-Paige and Levin discuss a continuum of play, from the imaginative to the imitative. In imaginative play, children's needs are being met: the play is initiated from within, they are in control, and they bring to their play the issues they need to work on. Imaginative play is essential to a child's healthy growth and development.7
The problem is that media influence can undermine healthy, imaginative war play and move a child's play toward the imitative end of the spectrum. Children are bombarded with brand-name characters with built-in personalities, plots, and product lines.8 As Garbarino points out, "GI Joe does not do gentle."9 This scripted, "captured," imitative play is like junk food: appealing, prepackaged, and heavily marketed. In imitative play, children are not in control and are not being nourished. While a few empty calories won't hurt, children need to spend the bulk of their time engaged in healthy, imaginative play.


THIS is what I meant when I saw his play is not creative.
post #75 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe View Post
The child I keep will ONLY play with action figures and weapons, he will ONLY reenact movie scenes, rarely making up his own scenarios. He does not color, play with blocks etc. How is this creative?
I would chalk this up to being a phase. Both of my kids (now almost 9 years old and 6.5) went through phases like this. Well, not exactly like this, but my dd would NOT play anything other than princesses and my ds wouldn't play anything besides superheros. I must admit that they didn't really enact scenes because at that age they weren't really watching anything like that. But, they literally would NOT play anything else. So, I'm guessing that this child's obsession (and really, that's kind of what it is) will pass as well.

For the record, we allowed ds to watch the Spider-man movie series at age 5. I think there is one gun in the entire series. We have not let him watch the new Iron Man or Hulk movies, as they do have a lot of guns and such. He watched Star Wars in the last year, and has also been building guns with his Legos. He is a super-sweet, sensitive little boy. He's also been into the Ben 10 and Superhero Squad cartoons for a while now. Instead of banning gun/weapon play, we talk about how real guns and weapons can be dangerous.
post #76 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe View Post
Still reading the article but this stuck out to me:

Encourage Imaginative Weapons Play
Carlsson-Paige and Levin discuss a continuum of play, from the imaginative to the imitative. In imaginative play, children's needs are being met: the play is initiated from within, they are in control, and they bring to their play the issues they need to work on. Imaginative play is essential to a child's healthy growth and development.7
The problem is that media influence can undermine healthy, imaginative war play and move a child's play toward the imitative end of the spectrum. Children are bombarded with brand-name characters with built-in personalities, plots, and product lines.8 As Garbarino points out, "GI Joe does not do gentle."9 This scripted, "captured," imitative play is like junk food: appealing, prepackaged, and heavily marketed. In imitative play, children are not in control and are not being nourished. While a few empty calories won't hurt, children need to spend the bulk of their time engaged in healthy, imaginative play.


THIS is what I meant when I saw his play is not creative.
Maybe you could get involved with the play, as suggested in the article. You can then guide him to use his imagination to come up with new, original scenarios.
post #77 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doodlebugsmom View Post
I would chalk this up to being a phase. Both of my kids (now almost 9 years old and 6.5) went through phases like this. Well, not exactly like this, but my dd would NOT play anything other than princesses and my ds wouldn't play anything besides superheros. I must admit that they didn't really enact scenes because at that age they weren't really watching anything like that. But, they literally would NOT play anything else. So, I'm guessing that this child's obsession (and really, that's kind of what it is) will pass as well.

For the record, we allowed ds to watch the Spider-man movie series at age 5. I think there is one gun in the entire series. We have not let him watch the new Iron Man or Hulk movies, as they do have a lot of guns and such. He watched Star Wars in the last year, and has also been building guns with his Legos. He is a super-sweet, sensitive little boy. He's also been into the Ben 10 and Superhero Squad cartoons for a while now. Instead of banning gun/weapon play, we talk about how real guns and weapons can be dangerous.
It has been this way since he was 3...

I have been trying to gently guide his play to more rescue than kill type of games. SO far he shows no inclination towards less violent roles but I am working on it!
post #78 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe View Post
For us it was just toy weapons and blue hair. I was in high school in the 80's weird was ok LOL. We never did feel stifled. I was always active in art and music and writing (still am), my siblings were very active in creative areas. Noisy was never an issue. We are all happy, peaceful, loving, successful adults. None of us feel deprived at not being allowed super violent weapons play.

And sure we played some of those things away from home but since we knew it was not allowed at home it was no big deal. It was a fun game nothing more.
But, it's not just a fun game to all kids. Imaginative play is a way of processing things, and one child being okay with being told "you can't process life in this fashion" doesn't mean that all children will be okay with it. This is a crucial way of processing things for some children.

Quote:
I do wish the child would play ANYTHING else for five minutes I admit.
I tend to feel that way when children get on a kick of playing the same way all the time, no matter what they're playing.

Quote:
They say the same thing "Oh it does not faze him" I guess I WANT extreme violence to faze my child. I don't want that to all seem normal to him.
DS1 watched movies that I'm pretty sure everybody on MDC would feel were completely inappropriate for his age when he was little. He didn't watch slasher horror films, because I never watched them, and couldn't even stand to have them on. But, he watched some pretty violent, dark, disturbing stuff. It didn't faze him. Extreme violence - any violence - fazed and upset him. But, he understood very well, very early, that what was on tv wasn't real. I'm not going to say that all children are like that, because I know they're not (I'm 42, and ds1 had better ability to emotionally separate fact and fiction at 4 or 5 than I have now). But, a child being unfazed by something on tv does not mean they're going to be unfazed by such things in real life. DS1 is now 17. He's not violent. He's very caring and gentle towards younger kids (sometimes a little impatient when his little brother climbs on his nuts or his baby sister claws his face - but not violent). The very first thing any of his teacher ever said to me was that he was very kind. Violence - real violence, where people get hurt - upsets him a lot.

Quote:
IMO "killing" is not play and not normal.
If it's not normal, there are a lot of really freaky kids out there...mostly boys, but a lot of girls, too. Play is a way of processing life. Death is part of life, so death gets processed, too. That can happen in many, many ways, including by pretending to kill people, "monsters", etc. I've known many kids who will happily "kill" 100 "enemies" in 10 minutes of play...but who would go out of their way to avoid stepping on an ant, and are inconsolable when they [i]hear[i] about a small animal being hurt. Play isn't real.
post #79 of 91
To OP...

A lot of us start out with the same good intentions, but it becomes a losing battle around age 4. If some of your acquaintances roll their eyes, honestly it could be b/c you only have an 11 mo old right now. You're likely to one day see "superhero" tendencies in your son, too. Don't be surprised if you have a sword wielding superhero in a cape one day!

If you don't believe this, do an experiment & take all the cultural influences out of your child's life right now (including no longer babysitting the older boy). Stick him in Waldorf (if you start school early) and have him play with wooden blocks & learn faerie stories. It's my bet that his genetic programing will take over, just as it did w/ my neighbor's Waldorf child (and several other kids I've watched grow up over the years, including mine)! Boys turn sticks into guns, no matter how many nurturing toys you give them. And you would rather he have superhero fantasies than idolize the bad guy...

Never say never w/ parenthood...

I've read positive things about this "play" in boys, and have learned that they are working out real world issues this way. After banning guns and weapons for the first 5 years, I finally decided to give in and buy him a nerf dart gun recently (he's almost 6). We've had great conversations about weapons, true bad guys, wars, how horrible killing is, etc... It has been an entry way into a learning experience, in other words (at his 5yo level, of course). It's my strong belief that by banning anything, no matter what it is, the allure of something banned makes something more attractive than that thing would have been originally. I don't want toys to have that power over him, and in fact, he's still a well-adjusted kid now w/ a toy gun. He still plays a vast variety of other games, is creative, kind, thoughtful, etc... Part of this is that boys are most deeply into the superhero stage from ages 4-5, but they do evolve out of it and expand their interests.
post #80 of 91
FWIW- My dd's school does not allow pretend weapons of any kind and the boys (yes, mostly boys) still make things into weapons. Lincoln logs are apparently great swords and daggers. My dd is pretty gentle in general, but she and her daddy bond over super hero squad comic books, so super heroes and common at our house. DD is actually going to be Wonder Woman (again) for Halloween.
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