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<p>We just got back from an afternoon at the IL's and I'm quite disturbed by my 4yo nephew's behaviour. In short: he made a "weapon" out of the megablocks (it was a fairly accurate reproduction of a rifle), proceeded to "shoot" anyone in sight - although he was shooting "zombies" at first - and kept talking about pipe bombs (!!!).</p>
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<p>While I do not want to completely rule out violent play for the boys, I was NOT comfortable with DS (27mo) witnessing and participating in those kinds of games. If we were at home I would have immediately instituted a "only shoot inanimate objects" (ie. not people or animals) rule. However, it wasn't my house, it had been going on for a while under the supervision of others (FIL and DH) by the time I came downstairs and saw what was going on, and I wasn't sure such a rule would even have been enforcable if he has no such rules at home (I don't know if he does or not, but suspect not). What I ended up doing was suggesting (fairly firmly) a total change of scene to break things up. DN was much too into his game for a simple redirection to have worked.</p>
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<p>Once we got home, DH and I discussed it and agreed that since even FIL seemed uncomfortable with the level of violence being displayed we should be able to get them on board about insituting that rule at their house in the future. But I have a feeling this is going to be an ongoing issue as the boys get older so was wondering how others have maybe handled a similar situation. If this kind of situation reccurs at BIL/SIL's house next time, what are the limits on what I can do/say? Usually we're all visiting in one room so simply removing DS from the game isn't always an option.</p>
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<p>I do know where my nephew's behaviour is coming from (violent TV shows and the shooter games his parents love to play), but he and his brother are the only boys DS ever really gets to play with and avoiding/separating them is not an option.</p>
 

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<p>I did EVERYTHING to prevent "gun play" w/ my DS.  But at about that age - he did make "guns" out of legos, sticks etc.  At his (v. peaceful) Montessori preschool they told me it was pretty common amongst that age group.  I let it go, BUT I made a solid rule that "we don't point our guns at people or animals."  I still adhere to that.  If a "weapon" is pointed at his sister or a pet - he gets the same mantra repeated and it goes into "toy jail" (on top of the fridge.)  He's 7 now and knows the deal.</p>
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<p>If it were someone else's child I'd playfully say "Hey man!  No pointing your gun at people!!" and distract.  If no parents were arond - I'd say - "Ok, time for a new game sheriff - hand over your weapon (gently take it away) and hand him something else ("It's time to play XYZ!!!)   If possible I'd probably make a point of saying it (not harshly) in front of his parents.  If they blow it off, I don't think there's anything wrong with saying "Hey BIL/SIL (whoever is present) - we're working really hard w/ DS to get him to stop play shooting people - can we find another game for them to play?  DS is such a little sponge and picking up everything these days!!   What do you think the next go-to is???"  </p>
 
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