I went through a period of wanting to make an issue out of gun and sword play. We don't have TV in our house, and carefully screen movies ahead of time. What helped me get over my negative reaction to that sort of play was reading "In Mrs. Tully's Room" by Vivian Paley. It is about children's stories.
Here is a story my 3 year old dd dictated to me. She started it, we acted it out, she created some more.....
Panther and the Girl and the Fire and the Dragon
by Ananda Burke
One day, there was a girl who made a fire, and she put a dragon to sleep there. And she went around the house to see if there were any panthers there, and if there were she would shoot them. When she finds one, it eats her up before she gets to shoot the panther and kill it. But she flashes at it and she gets away before it eats her up, and she hides under a blanket, and the panther beats her heart. Ant then she poked out her head and jumps out and shoots the panther. Before the girl could shoot him, he spranged up and she runs away, and there were big footprints and little footprints. "I'm sorry panther. I'm sorry I tried to shoot you." "I'm sorry too. I forgive you." And then they're all friends. Isn't that nice?
OK, so we're reading "Little House in the Big Woods" which is where the panther shooting is coming from..... Flashes: this is a device she made up, to flash at the panther and startle it, I guess. Beats her heart: she's scared and her heart is beating fast
We have also had stories about a "mean guy" (which is her name for "bad guys" since we try to avoid labelling people as good and bad
: ) a mean guy menacing some fairies. He captured them and threw them in the ocean. Immediately, she decided she didn't like that and changed the ocean to a hot spring. She loves to go to hot springs. Other friends joined them, and they had a great time....
I think it is important to let them play this stuff out without giving it a bunch of negative energy. We can't shelter them from their dark feelings, nor should we if we want them to feel good about themselves.
Peace to you and your families!