View Full Version : Boys and shooting/ gun games.

06-07-2012, 11:05 AM
Does anyone else struggle with their boys and shooting/gun type games?

I have a 9yo after schoolie who is absolutely obsessed with the army, guns, bombs, you name it he likes it! Probably doesn't help that he's allowed to play things like C.o.D on the playstation at home.
Any opportunity he is given he is acting out some sort of war or fight which I know a lot of boys do and it seems to come with territory but it's slightly worrying as his younger brother (2) now goes round pretend shooting, blowing things up & falling down cos he's been 'killed'. I find slightly wrong at such a young age.

Am I just being naive in thinking that at this age they shouldn't be aware of things like this going on in the world?? Or is this really the 'norm' these days??

06-07-2012, 11:15 AM
I don't think 'these days' really comes into it ... it seems boys have been engaging in this sort of play for centuries, and mystifying us girls for just as long! Its not an indication that they are aware of what is going in the world - they are just playing and a lot of this play involves copying how they see other children play, especially older children.

I don't provide gun toys but the mindees do improvise. I don't stop this play as I appreciate that, as unpleasant as it looks to me, that they have little concept of exactly WHAT the significance is of what they are playing. In their world no-one really gets hurt and no-one really dies.

However, I would try and distract the older child with other activities to keep his obsession to a level I feel comfortable with.

06-07-2012, 11:18 AM
Boys (children) have always played war/fighting games, soliders, cowboys etc shooting games... if you couldn't get hold of a toy gun then you fashioned one from what ever was available - a stick, lego, your fingers

in my day (oh I sound old) it was 'cartoon violence' butin todays society where access to this sort of media is so much more freely available it gives a more realistic perspective.... the news is graphic at early times, parents and older sibs play consoles when children are around....

I don't mind shoot em up games - pointles banning them but i keep an eye for things going to far or graphic.

its an integral and almost innate part of a boys (childs) learning

06-07-2012, 11:31 AM
I don't have guns here but they make guns from things they find (boys and 1 girl) Duplo and sticks are favourites. I don't mind the fighting games but stop it a soon as someone starts crying (and someone always does) :rolleyes:

06-07-2012, 11:33 AM
I work with older children (lots of siblings) and don't allow anything that involves physical contact. If they want to maim each other, they can do it in their own time!

06-07-2012, 11:53 AM
I must admit I do have 2 younger brothers but sadly due to leaving home at 15 I never really saw this stage of them so haven't really seen it much myself.

It still surprises me how much they do know though, like the fact the 9yo can literally real gun names & makes of the back of his arm and different grenades and stuff!
I've never really stopped him 'role playing' but I have said to him before just to be mindful of the little ones more so in case he knocks them over when rolling around the floor etc.

06-07-2012, 12:31 PM
I don't think they realise the bigger consequences of guns when they are playing. I don't have toy guns but mine do play gins and swords with sticks and whatever else they have. I leave them to it but as they get older a few conversations along the lines of what happens with real guns may happen.

06-07-2012, 12:37 PM
I don't have guns but you can guarantee they make them out of duplo, although I don't encourage this as I never let my own son have guns when he was little, but perhaps I should have as now he is 24 he goes skermishing(like paintballing but with bbs) full army gear and loves it

06-07-2012, 12:41 PM
I have to say I feel very uncomfortable with this kind of play and don't have guns etc in my setting, however, I went on a course this week called Raising Boys Achievement in the EYFS. It was so interesting. They were saying how important this kind of play is to boys development and we really should be facilitating this and tuning into their interests more (Power Rangers, Superheros etc etc). They know they are not really killing eachother and it doesn't mean they will grow up to be violent gangsters, it's just role play. The same as when little girls pretend to be a mummy with dolls, it doesn't mean they will be teen mums! They also suggested that play fighting and wrestling should be accepted with the appropriate boundaries in place. I am waffling now I know but I was fascinated! :blush:

Having said that I haven't expanded my collection of "boys" toys just yet!!

06-07-2012, 12:47 PM
I remember standing horrified and nearly in tears in Toys R Us looking at my soon-to-be 3 year old pointing at a big army toy thing as the only thing he wanted for his birthday. It was around the time of 7/11 or the Iraqui war (can't remember which) and I was feeling quite fragile. I remember it had guns and missiles and tanks and soldiers and rockets.

I ended up grabbing the nearest passing grandma and asking "My little boy wants this and I need to ask, is this normal". She smiled him, smiled at me, patted me on the shoulder and said "Oh yes, quite normal" ;)

06-07-2012, 12:49 PM
This is the norm for boys (and tomboys), and always has been. Boys have target orientated brains, and this is one of the ways they play that works for their brains. They enjoy any and all activities that provide them with a target to aim for, shooting, dart boards, pool/snooker, football......it's the way boys roll.
Many boys will shoot each other up and get 'wounded' and many girls will enjoy mixing up potions to heal their wounds and nursing them back to health so they can go out and get shot up again.