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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Pretending and Violence
rmc20021 08:52 AM 02-14-2013
How do you handle your dck (especially boys) with the pretend violent play...such as using action figures etc shooting and fighting?

I've never allowed any type of toy guns or such in my daycare, and with the recent violence at schools and kindergardeners being suspended from school for using their fingers in a shooting position, I feel it's more necessary than ever to guide the kids away from this type of play.

It seems ALL the boys want to constantly pretend shoot and beat up when they are using action figures (and have tried to include the baby dolls in their play as well)

I'm CONSTANTLY telling them we don't do that here, that if their parents allow it at their houses it's between them and the parents but WE do not do that here.

The boys I have ALL play these video games at home where there's shooting and such. I talked to one dcd and he said, "oh, he pretends to be blowing things up etc...but tries to steer me away from the idea he's 'shooting'. I watch them do it every day and I tell them every day it's not allowed, but I know as long as they are allowed to do it at home, they will continue with that behaviors anywhere.

I've even put the boys into time out to be consistent in my rules against it. I talk to them all the time about how we don't hurt anything or anyone...even in pretend play.

How does everyone else handle this situation...if it's an issue in your daycare. I've had it with every boy I've had and I keep reinforcing my rule but it still keeps going on and I don't know what else to do.

I cannot term as my numbers are low as it is and it's my only source of income. Oh...these boys are all 4 yo, old enough to understand a rule once it's been explained to them and reinforced several times.
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canadiancare 08:55 AM 02-14-2013
Action toys get tidied up if they are not used according to the rules of your home. There is no fighting allowed here and I don't allow the weapon accessories for the action figures, either. My own boys (now 21, 19) were allowed the figures but we opened the packaging and threw away the weapons. The X-Men could have a tea party or go mountain climbing but they weren't going to be fighting "bad guys".
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nannyde 09:57 AM 02-14-2013
https://www.daycare.com/forum/showth...ight=superhero
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Meyou 10:22 AM 02-14-2013
I redirect to a different activity. I tell them that it isn't a good game for my house so let's find something else to do right now and give suggestions.
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Willow 10:34 AM 02-14-2013
I loved this post from nannyde's link:

"I like to try to channel my boys' superhero tendencies towards real-life hero scenarios -- fire fighters, doctors, police officers. It doesn't always work, but they are naturally more active and looking for excitement for a reason -- they're born protectors. Instead of focusing on there being a bad guy, I like to focus on how they can help someone. Like "Oh no! The climber is on fire, and someone is trapped! We have to help them!". "


I don't do the action hero thing here. I have none nor will I ever. We don't do horseplay as I try to emphasize the importance of personal space, keeping hands to ourselves and being kind to our friends. No one is allowed to pretend shoot at anyone except critters (I live in a hunting capitol of the state). I do have a people bin with police and fire people along in the mix of all the occupations as well as a "Hunter Dan" bin where kids can set up deer stands, duck blinds and boats to hunt ducks, deer, bear, elk as well as fish. I also have nerf guns and bows kids can shoot the soft darts at hula hoop targets and such.

None of what I have or do promotes violence in play towards other human beings. I disagree that that's any kind of productive. The hunting play is guided in a very realistic way. All of my families hunt so they're all learning young what is lawful and ethical. I'd argue the exposure to it teaches appropriate use of firearms instead of the junk kids are seeing in action "hero" movies and cartoons.
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coolconfidentme 10:41 AM 02-14-2013
I'm with the OP..., I don't allow play fight or pretend guns. I redirect as much as I can & given timeouts when they continue the behavior. A child hit another yesterday. He did it again after a timeout & was separated from the group. Today he did it again as I sat at the play table with them. We had a Come to Jesus Party & we are at DEF-CON 3 level with ZERO tolerance for aggressive behavior, fun or otherwise. They ALL know it's unacceptable & will get timeout every time from this point on. Mary Poppins has left the building!
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Heidi 10:45 AM 02-14-2013
ON the other thread, this was one suggestion by Daycaremommy:

Well can't the provider just lead them into expanding their play without complete redirection? "Hey guys! I see an army of evil book-eating robots marching on the horizon! Quick! Help me build a fort to protect our books and keep them out!" To deter violence you could tell them that the robots are invincible except that they will short out if they get wet. So some kids may grab cups from the housekeeping center to throw water on the robots and another kid may choose to be Storm from the X-Men and make it rain on the robots and save the day. Now we're building with blocks, conveying that books are important, and we can branch off and talk about rain/clouds/weather and recite Jack and Jill. Just a silly example, but you get the general idea though. And through reading related or semi-related books that can help shift the play in different directions as well. It's not that big a leap from superhero to heroic knights in fairy tales. Then bam, they are into books and that is one of the best gifts we can give these guys in their early years. Not just the ability to read, but a love of books.

I think this would be a great way to handle it...
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rmc20021 11:09 AM 02-14-2013
I went to the old posts and read a lot of them...I was just concerned I may be the only one who felt the way I do and maybe I could be wrong.

Now, I feel strongly about my original thoughts of not allowing the aggressive, violent, play fighting, play shooting with the action figures.

I wanted to boys to have something equivelent to the Barbies which the girls have as they like to 'pretend' with humanistic looking figures.

I've also encouraged them to use them in positive ways...saving someone from danger (without the fighting and shooting), jumping off tall buildings.

Back in the days when I was a kid, it was so normal for kids to have guns and play cops and robbers, or cowboys and indians. In todays world though, it's sad kids can't play like this anymore, but I also feel that with society being what it is, that's it's best to discourage these behaviors to protect the kids in future situations where even the simplist acts could cause serious consequences at school.

So I will follow and continue to enforce my rules and the parents are getting a 'lecture' about it tonight.
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canadiancare 11:13 AM 02-14-2013
Originally Posted by rmc20021:
I went to the old posts and read a lot of them...I was just concerned I may be the only one who felt the way I do and maybe I could be wrong.

Now, I feel strongly about my original thoughts of not allowing the aggressive, violent, play fighting, play shooting with the action figures.

I wanted to boys to have something equivelent to the Barbies which the girls have as they like to 'pretend' with humanistic looking figures.

I've also encouraged them to use them in positive ways...saving someone from danger (without the fighting and shooting), jumping off tall buildings.

Back in the days when I was a kid, it was so normal for kids to have guns and play cops and robbers, or cowboys and indians. In todays world though, it's sad kids can't play like this anymore, but I also feel that with society being what it is, that's it's best to discourage these behaviors to protect the kids in future situations where even the simplist acts could cause serious consequences at school.

So I will follow and continue to enforce my rules and the parents are getting a 'lecture' about it tonight.
That is something I have written directly into my policies, as well. No violent play, toys or films are permitted.
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Jewels 11:14 AM 02-14-2013
I personally believe this is something boys have been doing since the beginning of time, its who they are, its so normal, its boys being boys, as long as no one is really getting hurt, I allow all their imaginative super hero play, I don't have play guns, but think those are fine also, I remember playing all that with my brother, girls play pretend house boys plays super heroes, wrestling, cops robbers, this has been going on forever, they dont even need to have video games to pretend this, I have a few boys that I know have no video games at home, and pretend fight all the time, I think its sad its viewed as something wrong, its normal needed development for them..........dont get me wrong when the boys are in a pile on the floor, and being loud boys and the girls are all at the table drawing, sometimes I wish for an all girl daycare.
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Play Care 11:21 AM 02-14-2013
Originally Posted by Heidi:
ON the other thread, this was one suggestion by Daycaremommy:

Well can't the provider just lead them into expanding their play without complete redirection? "Hey guys! I see an army of evil book-eating robots marching on the horizon! Quick! Help me build a fort to protect our books and keep them out!" To deter violence you could tell them that the robots are invincible except that they will short out if they get wet. So some kids may grab cups from the housekeeping center to throw water on the robots and another kid may choose to be Storm from the X-Men and make it rain on the robots and save the day. Now we're building with blocks, conveying that books are important, and we can branch off and talk about rain/clouds/weather and recite Jack and Jill. Just a silly example, but you get the general idea though. And through reading related or semi-related books that can help shift the play in different directions as well. It's not that big a leap from superhero to heroic knights in fairy tales. Then bam, they are into books and that is one of the best gifts we can give these guys in their early years. Not just the ability to read, but a love of books.

I think this would be a great way to handle it...
I have tried unsuccessfully many times to redirect the play towards more positive pretending - rescuing people, saving kittens, etc I find they immediately go back to fighting - and I have a couple of BIG school aged boys that can unintentionally hurt the littles. Sooooo it's at the table with a provider led quiet activity(puzzles, reading, writing, etc.) I know that "rough" play is developmentally and age appropriate, but it's one of those things that they can do at home with mom and dad, IMO.
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SquirrellyMama 11:23 AM 02-14-2013
Originally Posted by Jewels:
I personally believe this is something boys have been doing since the beginning of time, its who they are, its so normal, its boys being boys, as long as no one is really getting hurt, I allow all their imaginative super hero play, I don't have play guns, but think those are fine also, I remember playing all that with my brother, girls play pretend house boys plays super heroes, wrestling, cops robbers, this has been going on forever, they dont even need to have video games to pretend this, I have a few boys that I know have no video games at home, and pretend fight all the time, I think its sad its viewed as something wrong, its normal needed development for them..........dont get me wrong when the boys are in a pile on the floor, and being loud boys and the girls are all at the table drawing, sometimes I wish for an all girl daycare.
Beautifully said!
Attached: hand-clapping-smiley-emoticon.gif (23.4 KB) 
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Willow 12:24 PM 02-14-2013
Originally Posted by Jewels:
I personally believe this is something boys have been doing since the beginning of time, its who they are, its so normal, its boys being boys, as long as no one is really getting hurt, I allow all their imaginative super hero play, I don't have play guns, but think those are fine also, I remember playing all that with my brother, girls play pretend house boys plays super heroes, wrestling, cops robbers, this has been going on forever, they dont even need to have video games to pretend this, I have a few boys that I know have no video games at home, and pretend fight all the time, I think its sad its viewed as something wrong, its normal needed development for them..........dont get me wrong when the boys are in a pile on the floor, and being loud boys and the girls are all at the table drawing, sometimes I wish for an all girl daycare.

I think it's interesting that you think fighting is normal and needed development for boys. My son has never played like that and he's doin' just fine lol

On the topic of what has been done since the beginning of time, how far back are we goin' here? 10 years ago you could carry a pocket knife with you to school and no one thought anything of it. 20 years ago kids at my husbands high school had their shot guns proudly displayed in the back windows of their trucks so they could head out and hunt at the end of the day. 30 years ago seat belts for children were optional. 40 years ago it was alright to let your kids run off the whole day and not expect them home until supper. 50 years ago if you mouthed off to your parents they could beat your behind black and blue and no one would say anything other than you probably deserved it. 60 years ago it was so much as expected for kids to marry in their teens. 75 years ago children were expected to be seen and not heard and education for most rarely exceeded middle school. 100 years ago illegitimate pregnancies were hidden and infants "sold" to other families or lived their lives out in orphanages. 150 years ago children were sold to pay off family debts and many lived as slaves.

One could argue because all those things were once common practice and socially acceptable that they should all be acceptable today. What is acceptable however obviously changes, often times for the good. We evolve because we know more and learn better.

I'd argue there is nothing beneficial about play fighting. Whether it hurts or hinders development and social relationships can be debated but I don't see anything about it that is essential to the growth and well being of boys. The physical aspect can be replicated with any gross motor skill activity and the social aspect can be replicated with ANY other scenario imagined up with a friend. In regard to the original post - I believe it hinders, especially when it gets to the point where boys are obsessed with it and will do nothing else as the original poster said is the case with her group.
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Blackcat31 12:46 PM 02-14-2013
I agree with Jewels. maybe not for the same reason or for deeper reasons but I too allow my DCK's to play guns. Whether it be cops/robbers or cowboys at the OK Corral or even an infantryman in the army.

I don't allow games that are outright violent and certainly don't allow them to emmulate the highway sniper or the cop gone rogue type play but a goood ol' shootout as imaginary play is definitely allowed.

Toy guns/gun play are no more the cause of violence than toy kitchen sets are the cause of obesity.

Psychologist and author Glen David Skoler has argued that games involving toy guns and swords most often occur as boys are transitioning from the “amoral, self-centered, and unsocialized” world of toddlers. He calls this an “intermediary level of moral functioning,” where boys experiment with “games of good guys vs. bad guys and epic struggles between good and evil.”


(http://jonathanturley.org/2011/03/08...-and-toy-guns/)

I also think that comapring gun play from our childhoods to things like car seat safety are two COMPLETELY different types of truths.

Car seat laws changed because kids died and we now have the knowledge to do things in a safer manner.

Prohibiting gun play in childhood does not stop the issues we currently have with guns.
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Willow 12:53 PM 02-14-2013
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:

Prohibiting gun play in childhood does not stop the issues we currently have with guns.
I don't disagree with you there.

I was merely debating it's touted *necessity* and the theory that what is old practice is always relevant and best
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Blackcat31 01:00 PM 02-14-2013
Originally Posted by Willow:
I don't disagree with you there.

I was merely debating it's touted *necessity* and the theory that what is old practice is always relevant and best
Oh okay, gottcha! Well, I definitely agree there! I don't buy into that theory either.

Heck my Dad used to tell me my parents dipped my pacifier into brandy to help with teething.
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Heidi 01:10 PM 02-14-2013
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Oh okay, gottcha! Well, I definitely agree there! I don't buy into that theory either.

Heck my Dad used to tell me my parents dipped my pacifier into brandy to help with teething.
That explains so much! I'm sure my parents did the same thing....
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Michael 01:12 PM 02-14-2013
Originally Posted by Jewels:
I personally believe this is something boys have been doing since the beginning of time, its who they are, its so normal, its boys being boys, as long as no one is really getting hurt, I allow all their imaginative super hero play, I don't have play guns, but think those are fine also, I remember playing all that with my brother, girls play pretend house boys plays super heroes, wrestling, cops robbers, this has been going on forever, they dont even need to have video games to pretend this, I have a few boys that I know have no video games at home, and pretend fight all the time, I think its sad its viewed as something wrong, its normal needed development for them..........dont get me wrong when the boys are in a pile on the floor, and being loud boys and the girls are all at the table drawing, sometimes I wish for an all girl daycare.
I agree with this. I was playing with BB guns at 6 and was always into the Hunter-gatherer types of play. I am not a violent person so I am wondering what the fear is. I also believe children should behave and follow the rules and if a provider wants to remove things which they view as violent, from their daycare, it is their decision.

One would think that all the concern for this over the last 20 years would have made a difference but look at what the public wants in their movies. I see more violence and guns in films now then in any time previously.

Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Heck my Dad used to tell me my parents dipped my pacifier into brandy to help with teething.
Well???? Do you still like brandy?
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Jewels 01:20 PM 02-14-2013
Originally Posted by Willow:
I don't disagree with you there.

I was merely debating it's touted *necessity* and the theory that what is old practice is always relevant and best

im not talking about old "practice", I'm saying that from way back when, you put a group of young boys together in a room , and naturally most start the imaginary play, it happens naturally, my son as well used to never really wrestle or pretend to much, but once he started playing with alot more boys it just came out in him, I think its our jobs as parents to guide them as to when its okay and when its not, my son knows that he can tackle and wrestle with dad, but his dad has taught him that its only okay with him, he doesn't try to tackle mom or girls, if your told stop, you stop, and its not appropriate in school. I think people are just looking for reasons things happen. Now I have one boy in my care who can take it too far, he seems to enjoy when people get hurt, and he takes the superhero play to far, and he concerns me, and I can tell he will have problems next year in school, and I watch him very close when the boys are playing, he has a lack of empathy....and you could completley stop this boy from wrestling or pretending he's a bad guy, but is this going to gain him empathy? is this going to stop his like of hurting people? I don't think so. But my other little boys, their play is so young and innocent. Do parents ever take boys and say "okay boys when you play make sure you wrestle and fight, thats what boys are supposed to do, it was in that old book I read you" I meant nothing like that, I meant boys have always naturally played that way, as girls play house naturally.
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Lyss 01:30 PM 02-14-2013
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I agree with Jewels. maybe not for the same reason or for deeper reasons but I too allow my DCK's to play guns. Whether it be cops/robbers or cowboys at the OK Corral or even an infantryman in the army.

I don't allow games that are outright violent and certainly don't allow them to emmulate the highway sniper or the cop gone rogue type play but a goood ol' shootout as imaginary play is definitely allowed.

Toy guns/gun play are no more the cause of violence than toy kitchen sets are the cause of obesity.

Psychologist and author Glen David Skoler has argued that games involving toy guns and swords most often occur as boys are transitioning from the “amoral, self-centered, and unsocialized” world of toddlers. He calls this an “intermediary level of moral functioning,” where boys experiment with “games of good guys vs. bad guys and epic struggles between good and evil.”


(http://jonathanturley.org/2011/03/08...-and-toy-guns/)

I also think that comapring gun play from our childhoods to things like car seat safety are two COMPLETELY different types of truths.

Car seat laws changed because kids died and we now have the knowledge to do things in a safer manner.

Prohibiting gun play in childhood does not stop the issues we currently have with guns.
I allow my kids to play this way as well.

For me I look at like if no weapon/gun play in DC or schools for young children was making a difference then wouldn't there be less violence in schools not more like we seem to be having? I remember being allowed to play good guys/bad guys in DC and school but my brother who is 6 years younger (now 24) was not and I don't think things/people have gotten any safer, its not about the imaginative play its a whole other can of worms. Not very scientific I know but it's how I look at it so it's OK at my house. I know not everyone feels that way in DC and I respect whatever view they take on it when I am in their home

My DCKs play all kinds of good vs evil scenarios and frequently it ends with some in "jail" and then that kid has to do something nice to get out. To me its learning morality and boundaries, right and wrong, and even confidence (standing up for what they think is right). I don't think my DCK that loves playing pirate is gonna head on over to Somalia someday. I do keep an ear out and if it gets out of hand I'll step in and we'll talk about it together. If they were playing it to really hurt someone or becoming completely obsessed with a weapon then yes I would talk to them and parents but general imaginative play I think it part of learning.
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Jewels 01:32 PM 02-14-2013
Originally Posted by Michael:
I agree with this. I was playing with BB guns at 6 and was always into the Hunter-gatherer types of play. I am not a violent person so I am wondering what the fear is. I also believe children should behave and follow the rules and if a provider wants to remove things which they view as violent, from their daycare, it is their decision.

One would think that all the concern for this over the last 20 years would have made a difference but look at what the public wants in their movies. I see more violence and guns in films now then in any time previously.



Well???? Do you still like brandy?
Yes and if there were more men on this site, I'm guessing this topic would be much greater debated. Because all men were once boys, and they all understand better than any women, I still watch my husband and his friends tackle each other, and they are all in their 30's. And they are amazing husbands, and fathers, and hard working guys(well I guess truly I can only speak for my own husband.)
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Starburst 02:04 PM 02-14-2013
Well, it also depends on what they are doing when they are re-enacting the violence are they pretending to save someone? are they pretending to both be villians? If they are more into the "superhero" part of it try asking open ended questions like "how do super heros save people?" "other than weapons and super powers, what are some ways that they can help people?". "what is a hero/heroine?", "What is a superhero/superheroine?", "can normal people be heros/heroines? Why (or why not)?" you can explain to them that their are lots of real heros who do help people without violence (fire-fighters, doctors, cops {they don't always use guns})

It's one thing if they take turns being the villain but if one is always the villain and is always more agressive- I would seriously talk to the parents. But while more little boys who do superhero play do usually wind up normal there are a few weirdos out there who don't grow out of it- there are actual grown up people who try to be superheros! The police hate them because they tend to get in the way of real and serious investigations, most of them never studied AJ and I guess they couldn't cut it out to be cops. There was one guy that was actualy child care worker and when his "secret identy was revield" he lost his job.

http://natgeotv.com.au/videos/taboo/...-CF082646.aspx

-These people actualy tick me off because they think they are helping but it looks like they are really cocky and full of themselves . It looks like they are just making things more complicated and getting in the way of police business.

I mean when I was growing up we used to rough-house and stuff just joking around but it is actually proven that many children who are exposed to violent actions not only immitate violent behavior but they also tend to try to step it up and become more creative with improvising (The Bobo experiment- now considered unethical).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YclZBhn40hU

One thing I really cannot stand though (when I was working at one home daycare) was when kids would be outside playing 'Dora' (I never liked her) or 'Superheros' and start shouting "HELP!" or "I'm hurt I need help" it just freaks me out to think that if a neighbor heard that and thought the child was in danger they would call 911 (not good for the provider or the kids) or that if they were playing and someone got hurt we would think they were playing ('Boy who cried wolf' syndrom). One of my ECE teachers suggested for that to look into doing a field trip to the local PD or having an officer come to do a 'career day' and explain why you should never pretend to cry for 'help' if it's not an emergency. So maybe look into something like this to have them explain that cops don't only use weapons but also use their smarts to help people- and that people who hurt other people go to jail (they will probably find an age appropraite way to explain it to the children if you let them know the situation you are having). I would definetly also try to make sure parents understand that you do not allow any type of toy weapons, violent games (video games/toys), or actions/behaviors in your program.

BTW I am NOT into superheros (okay maybe I did like the Powerpuff Girls) and I told my fiance that when we have kids and I have my daycare I don't want any guns or really any superhero things and I don't want them to put themselves in danger thinking they are super strong or can fly (some younger kids do not yet understand the difference between fantacy and reality). Also it one thing if that child's parents let them play with guns at home but you will have children from multiple backgrounds and beliefs in your program and many do not want their child exposed to any type of violence (even pretend) and it is easier to respect their wishes by just not allowing that than allowing it because the other daycare parent allows it at their home.

This is actually a big debate between us because he does want a gun for protection and I keep telling him it could effect my business: liability insurance? low enrollment if parents find out? Because of licensing regulations it can't even be left loaded or in easy access- So whats the point of having it protection!

Then he tried to get me to watch the Batman movies and I explained I don't like superhero movies and he actually made a good point: "Batman doesn't have any super powers. He has a few tools in his utility belt but not really much that he uses as weapons and he has a car so he doesn't fly(even though he is alter-ego is part bird ). He does fight when he needs to but he normally tries to think and talk his way out of trouble" (in most of the cartoons anyway).
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lovemykidstoo 02:15 PM 02-14-2013
I don't have play guns in my daycare, because I just don't have them. Really didn't make a conscious effort not to have them. Sometimes the kids will make their own weapons per se with the big legos and stuff and pretend cops robbers kind of thing. We played cowboys and indians, charlies angels with pretend guns when we were kids and we didn't turn out to be mass murderers.

My thoughts; I don't believe that normal play with pretend weapons makes a mass murderer just as I don't believe a boy playing with a barbie will make him a gay man or a boy or girl playing with the kitchen set will make him obese either. There are so many other factors that makes a person lose their mind and take someones life. I really don't think a normal minded person grows up and does that and blames it on when they were 3 and played with another child by pointing their finger at them and saying bang.
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saved4always 02:38 PM 02-14-2013
I am in the toddler room at a center. The violent play seems to happen most with my older toddlers that are near 3 yo. I tell them that there are no guns or shooting or fighting allowed in Miss **'s room. If they say they are allowed at home, I tell them that they can play that at home then if mommy and daddy are ok with it, but it is still not okay in Miss **'s room. It takes ALOT of reminding when they are used to playing that at home. I try really hard to stop it because the parents of the younger toddlers do not like when their little ones come home using their fingers and toys as guns. And they will definitely tell me about it, if it happens.
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Blackcat31 02:41 PM 02-14-2013
Originally Posted by Michael:
Well???? Do you still like brandy?
Actually no. I am not really a drinker at all. Maybe I had my fill while I was a toddler and teething.
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Scout 04:06 PM 02-14-2013
Originally Posted by Jewels:
I personally believe this is something boys have been doing since the beginning of time, its who they are, its so normal, its boys being boys, as long as no one is really getting hurt, I allow all their imaginative super hero play, I don't have play guns, but think those are fine also, I remember playing all that with my brother, girls play pretend house boys plays super heroes, wrestling, cops robbers, this has been going on forever, they dont even need to have video games to pretend this, I have a few boys that I know have no video games at home, and pretend fight all the time, I think its sad its viewed as something wrong, its normal needed development for them..........dont get me wrong when the boys are in a pile on the floor, and being loud boys and the girls are all at the table drawing, sometimes I wish for an all girl daycare.
My sons play like this all the time....boys do this and I think it is normal behavior for them. I do not like toy guns but, I let my boys bang their action figures together all day long if they want! They play rough...they are boys. If I see it getting out of hand I separate them.
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rmc20021 04:54 PM 02-14-2013
I appreciate all who have replied and certainly didn't expect so much debate...I was just concerned maybe I was overly sensitive to this subject, and wanted to know if others have this issue, and if so how they dealt with it.

I totally do not feel that by allowing kids to play this way creates or encourages bad behaviors or mass murders or anything of that sort.

My concern is simply because the schools and media make such a big deal of it and don't hesitate to suspend kids as young as kindergarden, for even acting as though they are using a weapon...I feel it's necessary to curb those behaviors before they get into a situation where the tolerance is zero.

Now, seeing how so many people have different opinions, I also feel that there would be many parents who may object to allowing their child to be in a situation where they are playing with weapon type toys and showing those types of agressive behaviors, even if it's harmless play.

And there are, I'm sure just as many parents who feel there's nothing wrong with it. As providers, we can't please everyone so I feel it's best to go with the option of not allowing it, and if the parents want to allow it at home, then that's their choice.

If it came down to which parent would be more likely to pull their child from a daycare, I believe it would be the one who didn't want their child playing that way, over a parent who was upset because the provider didn't allow their child to 'pretend' shooting somone.
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Evansmom 05:04 PM 02-14-2013
I agree that boys will be boys but I do not allow words like kill or murder or any other violent wording like that. I encourage the boys to instead say "I'll get you" or something like that instead. I didn't start out feeling that play fighting was ok but after having sons and working in this field for 17 plus years I changed my mind.

So I have a question for you all. While interviewing, do those of you who allow play guns in your daycares bring this up with parents of boys? Because I know some parents who wouldn't like their children playing with guns.

I'm asking bc I've never thought of this before and I'm interviewing a family with a little boy tomorrow.
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lovemykidstoo 05:06 PM 02-14-2013
I think that is what is so great about this board, that everyone can have their own opinion. I find it so interesting to see what everyones views are. It's fantastic that we all respect each other and can do this without anyone getting mad. I really don't think there is any right or wrong answer, it's just a matter of perception. Good thread!
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nanglgrl 05:14 PM 02-14-2013
Originally Posted by Jewels:
I personally believe this is something boys have been doing since the beginning of time, its who they are, its so normal, its boys being boys, as long as no one is really getting hurt, I allow all their imaginative super hero play, I don't have play guns, but think those are fine also, I remember playing all that with my brother, girls play pretend house boys plays super heroes, wrestling, cops robbers, this has been going on forever, they dont even need to have video games to pretend this, I have a few boys that I know have no video games at home, and pretend fight all the time, I think its sad its viewed as something wrong, its normal needed development for them..........dont get me wrong when the boys are in a pile on the floor, and being loud boys and the girls are all at the table drawing, sometimes I wish for an all girl daycare.
Exactly! The last paragraph of this article is very interesting regarding this type of play.
http://news.yahoo.com/analysis--disc...195101197.html
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Hunni Bee 07:07 PM 02-14-2013
I have my own reasons for disliking gun/shooting/fighting play.

But the main one I go back to is liability. Someone is bound to get hurt. I currently have a dck who almost exclusively chooses this type of play. He has no boundaries between him and other kids, and he'd just as soon punch another kid or knock them to the ground as pretend shoot. Its all the same to him. Even with the other boys, if this kind of play is permitted for even five minutes, someone gets hurt.

I dont need them hurting each other on my watch. So they just can choose another way to play. No one needs to shoot, kill or hurt anyone else while playing.
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Jewels 07:21 PM 02-14-2013
Originally Posted by Hunni Bee:
I have my own reasons for disliking gun/shooting/fighting play.

But the main one I go back to is liability. Someone is bound to get hurt. I currently have a dck who almost exclusively chooses this type of play. He has no boundaries between him and other kids, and he'd just as soon punch another kid or knock them to the ground as pretend shoot. Its all the same to him. Even with the other boys, if this kind of play is permitted for even five minutes, someone gets hurt.

I dont need them hurting each other on my watch. So they just can choose another way to play. No one needs to shoot, kill or hurt anyone else while playing.

I have a boy like this and while I allow the play, I watch him like a hawk and allot of times he is my shadow, and I rarely let him play where I can't watch him, he has a major lack of empathy and he plays to hurt, he knows His boundaries with me, but he is sneaky, his mom told me the other day that he walked past her with some items he shouldn't have, and she asked him what he was going to do with those, and he responded... I'm not going to tell you, or you would take them away........
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Tags:cowboys and indians, pretending, violence
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