Really interesting read today from “Not Just Cute: Intentional Whole Child Development“.
My oldest child is a boy. When he was a toddler he loved to wrestle, play super heros, and he loved to play “guns”. I’ve even got a theory that boys have some sort of different genetic marker that allows their tongues to facilitate machine guns sounds. My husband can do it, all his brothers can do it, my son can do it, but none of the girls at our house can get it down . . . nor do they have much interest in perfecting that spit-filled machine gun noise.
I’ve had friends run the gamut with their parenting philosophy and approach to their boys “playing guns”. Some who are anti stick gun, water gun, gun talk, bad guy talk etc. and some who are totally free reign on weapons play.
12 years in, I can tell you that the boys who loved playing guns are no more violent or aggressive than the boys who were constantly banned from their imaginary weapons. Keep in mind, these are all boys from generally healthy, happy, homes.
I found myself objecting to imaginary weapon/gun play in certain situations merely because of social pressure from the parents who loathed the activity. But for many boys, it’s simply a part of their imagination and development. I certainly didn’t sit him down and practice the art of machine gun sound replication.
“A child’s play is natural. It’s expressive. It’s exploration. It’s therapy. A variety of themes — and some of them weighty — will be explored and examined, because that’s what play is for.”
– Amanda Morgan, Intentional Whole Child Development
Do you think imaginary guns the root of all evil and violence in our boys? Be sure to read Amanda’s full post and let me know what you think!
Tags: imaginary play