Spin-off: are your TV-free boys obsessed with guns? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 05-21-2009, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Spin-off from a thread in toddlers.

If your boy has never (I do mean never) seen TV or movie shooting and killing, is he still into stereotypical gun play?

(BTW, I don't mean to imply that I think TV-free children are naturally nonviolent or anything, but I'm just curious if the obsession is just as strong.)

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#2 of 11 Old 05-21-2009, 11:53 PM
 
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The short answer -- yes.
DS has only seen a handful of movies in his life and none have any violence at all, let alone gun play. But he learned about guns from other kids (at the park, groups of friends at the pool, etc) He is not gun obsessed, he gets that thoe are the big bad. But he IS sword obsessed and it's been our biggest parenting struggle... to honor his genuine interest in swords (going to a proper fencing match, talking about history and chivalry) while trying to help him understand that swords are for hurting people, that's what they do, and hurting people is not ok. Where did the sword play originate? Other kids + Ren Fest.

It's not about a gun or a sword or what have you, he just wants a stick in his hand at all times.

I guess if I were forced to make a distinction between his "aggressive" play and that of media kids -- his seems to be "dreamy" in his head, ghosts and knights and monsters. Kids I see at the park are acting out a show or movie or character. I don't think one is "better" than the other - I would prefer neither. It's just what I notice.

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#3 of 11 Old 05-22-2009, 12:07 AM
 
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I know you asked about boys, but just wanted to share a tidbit. My daughter and I had a conversation going the other day and we somehow ended up discussing what "war" was. Somehow I said something about a gun and she had to stop me to ask me what a "gun" was. She had absolutely no idea.

I felt horrible that I was the one who was introducing these concepts to her but it was a natural extension of the conversation we were having.

But, I did feel quite good that she had made it to 4 years 8 months without having a clue what a "gun" was, and still only knows on a theoretical level.

I guess we have just never encountered any girls or boys who are interested in gun play.

Holli
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#4 of 11 Old 05-22-2009, 12:20 AM
 
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I'm with boatbaby. My DS has never watched a movie or violent shows and he came home the other day from the babysitters saying he would "shot bugs" in the backyard. He grabbed a stick and started shooting away. I was flabbergasted. At the babysitters they don't even have play guns, but I understand the other boys (there are 3 others and only 1 girl) make them out of everything from blocks to baby dolls. DS is the only tv-free kid there.

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#5 of 11 Old 05-22-2009, 12:31 AM
 
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Marimami -- I don't think you should feel bad that you were the one to introduce a gun to her -- you should be thrilled. You're the mama, you are the one who should introduce her to MANY more firsts in life. I say good for you that she got this far without having to encounter it!

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#6 of 11 Old 05-22-2009, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DD (5) knows what a gun is only from reading the Little House books. I asked her what one was yesterday, and she said "Guns are for shooting animals. We don't do that. We're vegetarians."

I actually sort of had to laugh at the last part because she's been chafing against the vegetarian thing lately and asking to try meat (which we have let her do).

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#7 of 11 Old 05-23-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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When we moved back to the US our new little neighbor trotted into our yard toting an arsenal and started handing out the weapons. I sent him home, laughing , and very nicely asking him to please come back unarmed right away for some watermelon. He's never brought a gun here since--and he is here a lot!

My kids have been into gun play, but not so much. I guess for a while they were more into it than they are now. I think it might come back. We do talk about guns and what they really are, and what they really do. They are more into the rough and tumble of play than the actual form, so as long as they havesome aggressive, physical play in they don't seem to pine for toy guns.

Happy mom to DS2000, DS2002, DD2004, DS2006 and DS 10/2009:
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#8 of 11 Old 05-23-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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My three-year-old isn't exactly TV free, but has never seen anything involving guns or killing. And no, he's not obsessed with guns, and never uses sticks for shooting with, or anything like that. He knows that "shooting-things" exist because we have two old-fashioned toy soldiers that his daddy has used for an art project, and he knows that pirates have "shooting-things", too, but I don't think he really knows what guns do.:
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#9 of 11 Old 05-23-2009, 11:59 PM
 
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Well, my kids are five. Yesterday one picked up a stick, pointed it at me, and said "I"m going to get you with my gun--boom".
I asked where he'd heard of guns..I guess last time we got together with my nephew they played pretend guns with sticks. My nephew does have movie exposure.

So guns per se I think they needed some exposure to come up with..but it doesn't have to be tv/videos. Peers will work. The idea of bad guys/good guys and that they might fight or hurt each other has been around here a long time. And has been the bulk of their play at certain points along the way. It seemed to be organic in that they weren't exposed to those concepts. I think it's developmental. If my kids had exposure to the ideas of those bad/good guys having guns I'm confident it would have been in their play frequently in those times where they were interested in those themes.

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

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#10 of 11 Old 05-28-2009, 11:08 AM
 
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There's official "guidance" from government on this issue in the UK:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7163741.stm

Jeannine Parvati Baker wrote a fantastic article about the instinctive urge in boys to play with toy weapons, saying that they make weapons out of sticks if there are no toy guns/sword around. It was a lovely article, in The Mother Magazine (http://www.themothermagazine.co.uk/back_issues.html) about a year or two ago. Made me feel better about my sword-loving boy!

Rachel x
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#11 of 11 Old 05-28-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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My DS is 3 years 4 months and he doesn't know what a gun is. He's in daycare too, so i know it's only a matter of time before he's introduced to the concept. But so far, he doesn't do any kind of play fighting, with guns or swords. He does like "rough housing" play, like wrestling though. He one time saw guns in a book (Horton Hatches an Egg) and hunters and wanted to know what the men had in their hand. I just said it was a type of tool. lol.. but i know i will need to explain at some point. I have seen a couple of the other kids in his school (1 of them only 2 y.o.) who were pretending to shoot things and I'm only guessing they got it from movies or TV. They even had the sound effects down. But so far it seems to have gone over DS's head.

Attachment-Parenting mom to darling DS : (January 2006). : : : : :
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