Do we really need toy guns in paradise?
Unfortunately I cannot shelter and protect my little one from the ever intruding influences of the outside world. As much as I would like to keep him in my peaceful little world, the little cocoon I call my home, ‘Timan’ needs little friends to play with and certainly he is learing from them and he’s picking up all the things he sees every day around him like a sponge.
To my very discontent ‘Timan’s’ little friend who is merely 1 1/2 years older showed up at our house with a black toy gun, pretending to shoot down everything in his view. I realized it in the corner of my eye while I was busy in the kitchen and thought ‘Oh no, a life-size plastic gun, what a stupid toy for a pre-schooler. Hmmm. What is he doing, what is ‘Timan’s reaction going to be? I don’t like this. Shall I interfere?’ I was almost ready for action when I heard Hubs explaining to the boy in our house we won’t have or accept toys like this and that he shall take the toy gun back home to play with it. ‘Wow. My Hubs is saying this! Hmm, this is very good.’ I thought. I did not expect such a reaction from my better half at all.
After the kids went outside to play, without the gun, Hubs and I had a talk and we are absolutely on the same side. For this age at least. Even though Hubs wants the ‘no weapon in my house’ rule for ‘Timan’s whole childhood I think this will be very difficult to maintain when he’s getting older. His friends are most likely to play with toy guns during carnival season, or maybe just using wooden sticks to pretend in normal outside play, like when you play ‘cops and robbers’.
Is playing with weapons (toy weapons at first and later maybe real ones) a normal part in the development of a child or is it a behaviour copied from peers or thought by adults? Or is it triggered by some little part in the human brain, that is left from what we have inherited from our ancestors who were chasing mammoth and fighting saber-tooth tiger for a living?
I remember from my own childhood, that I was kind of obsessed with knives, throwing knives. I think my parents didn’t like it that much but they did not object either and as time passed I grew out of it. I think all over the world kids are playing with toys that symbolise weapons since mankind uses weapons to defend itself.
Time will show the way we are going to handle this in the future when ‘Timan’ is going to school for example. What experiences did you make? How are you handling the ‘toy weapon’ issue with your kids?