So my 26 mo adores his older cousins, especially his 13 and 11 years cousins. They love to wrestle, hide and chase, dance like crazy, and play with swords and squirt guns. DS thinks they are the most amazing people in the world and now feels the same way about fake guns he sees them play with. We didn't have any play guns in the house but he started grabbing toys (kitchen utensils, the unplugged glue gun) and playing squirting games with them a couple months ago. For a while he dragged that dang glue gun everywhere until I hid it!
At this point, DH and I are at a loss about how to deal with the gun love. We live in a wooded area with deer and do hear hunting happening in the distance at times. We explain this as people shooting deer, squirrel, and raccoons for food to eat. Also, my sister owns a farm and we buy chicken, pork, and such from her. So DS knows (or is being taught) that some animals are for food. I want him to know that though WE don't use them, for some people including our extended family, guns are important for survival.
How the heck do I deal with this? He found a squirt gun in the garage and loves it (w/o water in it thankfully!). He'll point it at all of us and yell "squirt!" in delight and want us to chase him.
Do we tell him to NOT point guns at people? Only at feet? Or animals? In which case would he "hunt" our indoor pets? Do I apply this rule to his cousins? I'm at a loss!!! What do you do??? My goals are to teach DS NOT touch real guns of course, to allow him to play happily and freely, and to teach him violence is wrong.
BTW, DS understands death as it applies to worms and insects that he accidentally kills but doesn't seem to be able to get far beyond that.