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How to make others understand how we feel about superheros - Page 5

post #81 of 91
Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe View Post
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!
Our Star Wars obsession lasted at least a year and a half...but it did eventually get replaced with other interests. Those phases can last a long time when you're a parent bored to death by the subject.

If he doesn't want to be the rescuer, would there be any violent play you'd find less offensive? In our house, the boys love playing 'Going on a zombie hunt'. It's like going on a bear hunt, only you're out searching for zombies and when you find them, they come after you, and you have to shoot them before they eat your brains. Violent? Yes. But, wow, are they proud when they save themselves! And I can't get too offended by the desire to kill a zombie.
post #82 of 91
OK, how wrong is it that I want to play Zombie Hunt now?
post #83 of 91
Originally Posted by pregnant@40 View Post
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.

Couldn't say it better myself. We had a very similar experience and my super-creative, artsy, utterly non-violent, completely non-sporty, very gentle and sweet seven year old DS who is going to go try out the local Waldorf school tomorrow has a hideous plastic M-16 he won at the local carnival floating around. He also loves to build battleships and fortifications out of Kapla!
post #84 of 91
Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe View Post
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!
I would chalk it up to being a personality.

I don't believe that all children engage in the same kind of imaginary play. Some kids only do re-enactments, but are very creative in other ways. It's so hard to know.

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.
Death is normal, though. It happens to everyone. And experimenting with that does happen. I am sorry to say war is a part of human culture and it pervades nearly every society. There are few war/conflict free societies. Murder has been known since before we became homo sapiens.

Now, is it morally okay?

No. But playing without death and without conflict is just to pretend it's not there.
post #85 of 91
We feel this way too. However..... I do want to point out that just having a "superhero" toy does not make a boy violent

DS's birthday was about a week ago. He got a spiderman action figure from a friend. He also got fairies from another friend. He has never had any superhero action figures before, but this spiderman plays wonderfully with the fairies DP and I are considering getting him a couple more since he likes this spiderman so much. Nothing that ds has done with the spiderman has been anything even close to violent
post #86 of 91
Thread Starter 
Steph the fairies playing nice with spiderman made me laugh!

I do find it amazing that he (the child I keep) can tell you everything there is to know about approx. 100 super heros/villians.
post #87 of 91
I have to agree with most posters and say its in the genes and highly influenced by the world around him. My son wasn't /isn't allowed to watch the superhero movies but has seen star wars. He is now 6 and believe me, anything can be turned into a weapon of some sort.
We realized around 3 that we couldn't fully limit his play, but we did make two rules:
1. No "real" looking guns.
2. No "pewing" real people, (Pewing is shooting) Only toys or objects.
post #88 of 91
Originally Posted by Megan73 View Post
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 #89 of 91
I'm a big fan of Diane Levin (and her colleagues) work. There are lots of great resources in this list from NAEYC. http://www.naeyc.org/files/tyc/file/...0Resources.pdf
post #90 of 91
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".
I think that once the initial shock is over that the child learned this behavior against efforts to keep it at bay, a person starts to look at it from a different perspective. Do I really want to micromanage a 5yo's play to that extent? Nope. But there are rules, and they will be enforced. Pretending to shoot people in the face is off limits. And there is no way in heck I'd let ds pretend shoot at a baby. But if he is playing with another 5yo, I will not intervene.

I just don't know that there is a way to completely avoid it. Maybe if you homeschool. Or maybe your child will just not be interested in that kind of play.
post #91 of 91
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.
Hmm....I have an issue with this. My sons love Star Wars and superheroes and are often out playing with these themes in mind. But if you ever watch a 4 or 5 year old playing "Star Wars" they are adapting and changing it to fit their imagination. I don't see scripted games like "now we are battling like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker" but "I'm Luke Skywalker (with a knights helmet, rain boots and a cape on for a costume) and we're going to beat the monsters!!!" Still very imaginative.

It's the same with themed legos. My kids love Star Wars legos...but they are almost never in their actual intended shape. They make new ships and fortresses with their imaginations while still saying they are playing Star Wars.

I think the article above doesn't give kids enough credit for their huge, wild imaginations and the fact that they are very hard to box in with themes.
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