My oldest son is 3yo and has really clung onto the aggressive style of play, with swords, guns ect. Everything is a weapon first no matter what it is. Sometimes I ignore his play, sometimes if I am in a comfortable mood and I feel he is not doing it very aggressively I will play with him (with reminders about away from the face and not too hard), and other times it is right in my face or on my back while I am changing his little brother etc. I don't want to forbid it completely because it seem so ingrained and I also don't think that would work anyway, however sometimes the tone and ferocity is enough to scare me. I also get very annoyed with it because it increases my anxiety to a level that I feel I verbally lash out at him in ways I do not want to and he doesn't understand the relationship between what he is doing and how I react.
I often express to him that he needs to do it outside, or softer, not in my face or his brother's face, etc. But the perversity of it throughout his day as his main kind of imaginative play is disturbing to me. His dad has a girlfriend who has two older boys and I am thinking he get's it from them, but also he latches onto anything in books we read or movies we watch that has an aggressive character.
He is by nature a very intense, physical boy so I am not suprised this is coming out. I am just wondering if this is a common trait in boys? I did not have any brother's growing up so I am not sure what to expect really.
On another related topic, I went to a kids cafe last week with ds and he ended up being ganged up on by a group of 5 other boys, all slightly older (4-5yo) where he was the bad guy and they were building a cannon to shoot him. I let this go on for 20 minutes or so, stepping in when things were getting too aggressive for my tastes (like trying to trap him under a play structure). My son seemed to not mind too much, he played out the role of the bad guy by ruining their cannon over and over again. However, it REALLY bothered me my son was the one rejected. At the end, I stopped some pretty physical play, with them piling on him with the foam cannon pieces. At the end, I said that it might be more fun for them to all play a game together rather than all ganging up on one person. No other mother's were really even watching what was going on, and I felt really frustrated with the situation.
doula mama to my turtle love, with a who came when he wanted 9/12/09, 33w 5d, NICU strongman!.