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violent toys? (long)

Poll Results: Violent toys in the home? guns, swords etc.

 
  • 18% (9)
    yes we have them, they're ok with us
  • 6% (3)
    they're ok, but only with adult supervision
  • 30% (15)
    don't have any but kids pretend anyway
  • 44% (22)
    not allowed at all
49 Total Votes  
post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ok, this may have been discussed before but what is your view on violent toys? By violent toys I mean toys in the shape of guns, swords, rifles, bow & arrow, light saber, anything used for causing harm on another being.

Let me tell you what prompted this post. The other day we went to Che Mac's play land (McDonalds) and there was another kid there and he had a play sword that looked like a light saber and he was "RAAA!" waving it at other kids (in a playful way). It looked like it was going to start a kiddie battle though, so I pulled the kid aside and told him "please don't fight other kids. Your a good guy and good guys don't fight with unarmed people" trying to be as pc as possible when reprimanding other peoples kids as I can. (I don't blink at telling other people's kids “no” when safety/fighting is an issue). Anyway, the kid looked at me with big round eyes and pointed out that it was his "Bible Man" sword and that it's ok. I could immediately tell that he wasn't trying to be mean, he just wanted to play with the other kids and this was his way of joining in so I suggested that since no one else had a "cool?" sword like his that he play with them on the slide instead - besides the other kids are his friends and they should play together nicely. He turned out to be a really nice little boy and my son enjoyed playing with him.

For our house, my parents bought DS (almost 4yrs)a rifle and a revolver for playing cowboy. I wasn’t completely happy with it because they didn’t ask first but I let him have it. He doesn’t “get” it because we don’t watch violent movies (any shooting we change the channel) so he thinks they are mainly for target practice. And we always tell him on the rare occasion that he does play with them that he shouldn’t aim them at people. But he will pick up sticks and pretend they are swords and do his own “RAAA! Let’s play fight” I guess he got that from other kids? And honestly, I played cops and robbers all the time as a kid so I’m not sure of the harm in moderation.

So what’s it like at your house? Are violent toys banned? Are they used with supervision? Do your kids find a way to have them even if they are banned (sticks for guns/swords, etc). What’s your opinion?
post #2 of 18
My kids aren't old enough yet, so until we have them I can't vote... Or my vote now is "don't have them, but they are fine" I perfer the ones that look NOT REAL, my kids are going to be taught how to shoot and respect guns/knives. I see nothing wrong with them as long as they learn to respect the real ones and not play with the one that LOOK REAL!
post #3 of 18
I didn't vote b/c I only have a DD and she's still a baby. But...

After reading some books I've decided that while there will be NO toy weapons in our house AT ALL, I won't mind if the kids make pretend weapons out of toilet paper rolls, sticks, or other such things. Firstly, they're imaginative. Secondly, I think it is normal for kids to go through phases like this, and I believe that trying to disallow any such play is just going to cause more problems. I believe in keeping things "out in the open".

L. Cohen (in his book "Playful Parenting") has some great suggestions for how to monitor "war play" (example, turn a "gun" into a Love Gun that makes the victim instantly in love with you - so when your child "shoots" you, you can fall all over him with giggles, professing your love). I like what he has to say about the issue, and I plan to give it a whirl if and when the situation arises.
post #4 of 18
We don't buy these toys for our kids, but don't have a big problem if they want to pretend.

I hate it when parents say "well i buy it because they will just use their finger as a gun anyway."

There is a big difference. When you buy your kid a toy gun you send a certain message. The fact that the kid will make a gun out of his finger does not send the same message at all and is totally different.
post #5 of 18
I picked not at all, though we haven't run into that situation so my opinion isn't really a fair assessment. I realize that it's easier said than done when it's a situation I haven't encountered. But I'm not okay with my children playing with weapons or war toys and would not give that type of toy as a gift. I just feels it encourages being violent and I don't think that children today need any more encouragement than the media, etc already offers.
So far the girls have stuck with dolls as their main interest, so I do have a biased opinion. They've been offered toys of all sorts but have stuck with dolls. Though I'll say that now and Lily will be all about everything but dolls
post #6 of 18
my dh is a fun loving sadist..so my 7 month old dd already has a little wooden gun shaped block, and a wide wooden screwdriver that dh calls her 'weapon of choice'..pretty bad, but its for fun.

he grew up with a pocket knife and air rifle and is a very responsible, handy, nature lovin weapon owner..so i am not worried about my dd's mind being corrupted....

education and knowledge are key. but if you are a pacifist type, i guess thats different.

although if he starts dragging her through the woods like ted nugent chasing bambi..i may just say enough is enough...(luckily he finds most hunting a bore...save the occasional squirrel he brings home)

edited to add: i dont like the realistic looking toys, though...toys are toys and dangerous weapons are just that...the two should not appear to intermingle....that would be too confusing and not teach caution. imo.
post #7 of 18
As a family, we choose not to allow violent toys in our home, but it isn't much of an issue with a daughter - people just don't buy toy soldiers (who might come with guns) or toy swords and so on for girls. As far as violent play goes, I don't prohibit it, but I do let dd know how I feel about it. But there isn't really violent play anyway - she's never witnessed violence in the media, and just doesn't seem interested in that kind of play. So what I'm really referring to is when she and a friend pretend they are being chased by sharks, and they say they need to kill the sharks, I might be a big old pooper and say, "oh, really? Well, those sharks are living creatures, and we shouldn't harm them...can we think of another way to get the sharks to leave us alone?"

I've explained this by saying that it is sad when any living thing dies, and that we shouldn't make fun games out of sad things.

I hate to be sexist, and I'm usually the gender-equality police, but it's a lot easier with a girl. I know boys with very peace-loving parents who will bite their crackers into the shapes of guns and shoot those. I don't know if it's biology, or if it's just boys wanting to play like other boys they observe (ones who DO have toy guns and such).
post #8 of 18
This became an issue for us when my oldest ds (5) started pre-school this year. I do not let him watch any violent tv or moives but of course most kids his age do : - which I just don't understand, but that's a whole 'nother thread.

Anyway, when my ds started pointing his finger at me and pretending to kill me or his little brother I got really upset. I explained to him that guns are not toys - real guns kill people and we should never pretend to hurt/kill people we love. It took me saying this a couple of times for him to understand, but now he doesn't do it.

However, I still often observe him and his friends at school playing "war" type games and I know there is not much I can do about it. He's going to join in the games that his friends play - KWIM? So I guess I'm just sticking to the rule of no violent/war play at my house and no guns/weapons as toys in our house.
post #9 of 18

I voted not allowed, but that isn't...

completely true. I haven't allowed toy guns - HOWEVER, I only had a girl until recently. She was never interested in guns. My ds might be interested in toy guns and I am on the fence as to whether or not I am going to allow them. I have never liked the "pop" guns. Water guns are encouraged. It's a game in our house as to who can get who first We all have our own water guns!
post #10 of 18
Ds has a sword and bow and arrows. We *really* struggled with this when he was around 4 and started to get into knights and castles. I don't really have a problem with it anymore because I see it as totally normal for his age and he is such a sweet and sensitive kid. We have a "no-killing" policy that I have never had to enforce. Mostly he just likes to whack his wooden sword and swing it around. He is getting quite good at archery and has fun just shooting the arrows at targets. We do not allow guns and ds actually takes them out of his Playmobil sets and throws them away!
If he was fixated on violence, I would feel more inclined to be concerned.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by MelMel
although if he starts dragging her through the woods like ted nugent chasing bambi..i may just say enough is enough..
That is sooo funny!

As for violent play in general, somehow DS learned about fighting things that are trying to attack him (probably from fairy tale knights vs. dragons) or whatever but I'm not sure where I stand on that kind of play. When he says things like that I might say "oh, poor monster...dragon...whatever, was he really that bad?" to give him a more rounded perspective. Surely, it's not the kindest type of play and I try to encourage him to use his creativity in a positive way - which he usually does, but on the other hand there are really weird people in the world. Does this form of self-defense violent play prepare children for fight or flight situations they may encounter as adults? I hope that my son is the one that stops the bully from picking on someone else or himself. Does playing "the good guy" who occasionally has to nock out a few bad guys teach kids to stand up for themselves and what's right? I guess our philosopy is to teach our son not to start a fight and to avoid a fighting when provoked, but to also defend himself if all else fails. But I guess that could probably be a different thread all together.
post #12 of 18
We don'y buy/ have them but my 3 year old does pretend with them sometimes (usually at crocodiles). He just calls them boomers/shooters (I think it is probaly from computer games, we don't even play very violent ones, but even one of my favorites (one of those break all the blocks with your paddle and ball games) I would have never said was a violent game has shooters on the paddles somtimes).

And my husband makes self bows/long bows and arrows so that is around too. But it is more of a skill (both the making and the casting of arrows) then a way to hurt/kill something. The same way they work on throwing a ball the right direction. Dh does sometimes go hunting, but he has never shot (or even shot at) anything. I think it is more an excuse to go sit by himself in the woods for a few hours.
post #13 of 18
I have a 7 yr old and a 4 yr old. I too had the "no weapons" rule, but that slowly evolved as the kids got older. First my daughter (7) got into Peter Pan about age 5 or so. We have all the musicals, went to the stage play etc. With her costume I made a cardboard and duct tape dagger to fit in her belt. Next to come, both kids figured out that a rubber band stretched over a Tinker Toy stick makes a cool bow for a bow and arrow set. My son was into pirating and of course we needed a hand with a hook on it. etc. etc.

It's a case by case situation for sure. Toy guns still give me the creeps though.
post #14 of 18

well

it really was never an issue for us in the early years...but as the last poster said, things evolve.

My daughter is almost 14. she's never had any real interest in toy guns as a girl i guess, or anything like that, but at around 8 she went to camp and learned archery and really got into the bow and arrow concept so she got one for home with the suction cup on the end to shoot at the arcadia door with a target. At 9 or 10 she wanted a slingshot which was fine as long as she never shot at another person or animal and we got her a set with targets too. My dh is a hunter and she's learned about hunting for food not sport. We eat whatever he hunts just as we eat the fish we catch. She has a bbgun now and has had training with it. Its used only with her dad, and only w hen out hunting or target practicing with cans in the back yard. We've never had any issues with her wanting to use it any other times, showing it off to friends etc. She understands and it is kept with dads stuff to be safe as well.

now we're expecting a baby boy , so i have no idea where the path will lead us. I do hope that by limiting the violence they see on tv/movies, by honest discussion of what guns and other weapons are in real life and why we don't play with those toys etc...we can avoid some of it. but i guess we'll see and keep an open mind.
post #15 of 18
My son is a little young but I pretty much know my feelings on it. I am going to allow play weapons in the house, but he isn't allowed to point them at other. At least not guns. The other day we were at a birthday party and they had blow up swords and the kids were fighting with them. I thought that was fine because they were balloons but I wouldn't allow that with any plastic swords. My dh got a beeby gun when he was 12 , a quite anticipated present I might add. Well his mom had a rule he couldn't point it at anybody. Well one thing led to another and his cousin kept begging him to shoot her in the foot, well he did and his mom broke it on the spot, he hadn't even had it half a day. But as he said he knew he wasn't supposed to. So I think they are fine as long as you teach your kids responsibility with them.
post #16 of 18
my son is to young right now to have any play guns and i really never liked play guns. i do though plan on educating my son on guns and allowing him to have his own bb guns and air guns when he gets older. the only fake gun i will ever by is a water gun. other then that i will never buy fake guns for him i think they are stupid. no reason what so ever for kids to pretend to shoot and kill other kids. hopefully the water guns i love so much will not get out of hand when he starts to use them. well this is just my $0.02 adios
post #17 of 18
I admit it, we have a light saber! DH is a *big* star wars fan and its his but it has gotten mixed in with the dress up clothes.

DD asked us what a gun was within the past little while and DH was soooo proud she had to ask. Then a couple weeks later she said, "Mom, what is shooting and why is it not allowed in Redmond?" (she could read the sign). LOL, you can't protect them from *everything*

Kay
post #18 of 18
I look at it this way... I won't have guns, swords, knives, etc in the house. But I know my kids will play those things anyway.
I would rather they used a stick as a gun, because later it is a magic wand, a fishing pole, a radar, whatever. But a toy weapon is just that thing all the time.


HEATHERH
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