My child plays "kill, kill, chop your head off game"

Lisa - posted on 01/03/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My child not long ago started to play games like "chop your head off", "kill, kill" or "die, die, die"
She also pretended she had a gun, playing shooting games.
I really don't like all of these. I feel these are all too violent. However my husband does not mind. He thinks all kids play this game.
Is it true? Do you allow your kid to play or say such things?
How do I make her stop saying this kind of things?

P.S. We don't play this kind of game in front of her.

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Jenny - posted on 02/02/2011

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I have a 4&1/2yr old that says things like that too, and is obsessed with shooting and punching and all that crazyness. I'm not to fond of it but my husband says all boys are like that. we've explained to him that you can't shoot people or the pets and we try to tell him that Batman and Spiderman never use guns and they don't kill the bad guys just put them in jail (he likes Superheroes alot). Other thatn that I just hope it shall pass and I try to get him interested in playing something else when I think he's going overboard

Rebekah - posted on 01/03/2011

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I have made every effort to keep my son from seeing anything violent (TV, computer games) and I don't have any toys that encourage that kind of play (no army men) just because of my beliefs. Just recently, however, he did start to pretend to make guns out of various things (legos, or whatever) from seeing other boys play that way. I don't want to overreact, but I do want to make it a teachable moment if I can, so I tell him that guns in real life can really hurt and kill people and are scary things, so I'd rather he didn't play something like that. He assures me its "just pretend" (ha ha, as if he thinks I think he's really going to hurt someone with his lego gun!). I think he's curious about the idea of it and maybe fascinated with how the other boys play it, the sound effects, etc. I also believe that we all have an aggressive drive that needs to be channeled. So I get where it comes from, but I still think its a chance to teach him something about it and guide him to some pro-social choices. Now is a good time to teach him about the value of human life and how we should be treating each other. I wouldn't want him "pretending" to do any other hurtful behaviors, so why would gun-play be ok? Just my opinion. (I do realize that people go hunting for game/sport, and law enforcement use guns to keep the peace, etc., so it isn't all antisocial bloodbath...but at this age they are very black and white and for me I'd rather stick to one message at this point about valuing life and not pretending to shoot people as a game...as the play I see happening is about shooting people instead of animals anyway.)

He also recently said things like your daughter did, something about chopping some body part off....here too, I think he heard it somewhere and its more of a fascination because its such a weird (and unrealistic) idea to him. Again, I try not to make a huge issue about it (because I think that will add more fascination to it) but just matter of factly redirect him and say that isn't a nice thing to joke about, "we don't talk that way," and try to move him on to the next thing. Kind of like how I handle it when he starts with the potty words (and will handle it down the road when curse words get their debut!)
If she seems stuck on this, maybe try to direct her energies into something else more acceptable...like instead of shooting games, she could do a different kind of "target" game/sport like child-friendly darts, bean bags, or basketball where she has to aim and "shoot." Do you know where she is picking up those ideas? If its within the realm of your influence, maybe you can help minimize her exposure. I know we won't always be able to do that (wait till they start riding the school bus!), but if its an easy fix, like if she's hearing or seeing things from a neighbor or older cousin, for example, enlist their help to set a better example.

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Brittany - posted on 12/04/2011

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My son is 2 1/2 and recently started saying kill kill etc just like the main post and it scares the heck out of me. not because I think he's going to, I just don't want someone to think someone says that to him or that he's learning it from us, because we DONT speak that way ever. I have no idea where he learned it at all and I just dont know how to handle it when he says I'm gonna kill this or DIE to me or his dad.. not angry, just playfully, but it's so hard to ignore because it's scary.. any help would be appreciated.

Katherine - posted on 02/05/2011

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i would like to say, its not that guns are bad, lets face it guns cant pull their own trigger- its the person behind the gun. And not everyone who owns a gun- LIKE MY FAMILY- go around and point it people and pretent to shoot.
i use to be ignorant and think guns are stupid and bad. THen i educated myself and educated my children.

Katherine - posted on 02/02/2011

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not to mention we are a hunting family and we dont allow toy guns in the house because the kids friends who come over dont understand that all guns- even toy guns are guns. its not cool to walk around and pretent to shoot someone with or with out a gun.
and people wonder why kids kill. its not the gun its what they are taught by other people.

Katherine - posted on 02/02/2011

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yeah my brothers and sisters never played these games as kids. My stepson tried, gotta give him credit for atleast trying to explain its fun, but he would come home from school with mean games that just hurt my kids. I told him times have chaged i get that but in this house we still dont hurt another. These games will no longer be played and you are not to g=come home and teach the girls these games. Youare also not allowed to play these games at school.

these games are not appropreiate for young kids to play at school or home.

Marcy - posted on 02/01/2011

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I think its a stage.....most of them (especially the boys) go through it. my son is 4 1/2 and comes home with all kinds of neat games that he played in the school yard....kidding. He calls his contraptions "shooters" because he doesn't know the word gun. I try and ignore it and if he wants to play I tell him that mommy is not interested in playing those types of games. Much like everything else...this too shall pass.

Claude - posted on 01/29/2011

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My son too says these kind of words, such as I shoot you in your face, or cut your head off (thank God not too me!). I do not kie this kind of language and violence. He never owned a toy gun. I feel relieved that from seeing this post a lot of kids his age say the same things. I told him that guns are not good and now he knows that but still sometimes his language seems too violent for my taste!

Nicole - posted on 01/08/2011

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My son plays the same games and I have sat down and explained to him that some people like to play these games and some don't. If a child seems upset, or says no, to these games, he has to stop.

He seems to get it. He walked up to me a few days ago and asked, "mommy, you don't like it when I shoot you?"

Kelly - posted on 01/06/2011

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My son will be 5 in February and he has recently started this too. I think he may have picked it up from some other kids. Most of my friend's kids are older than him. I have explained to him that it isnt nice to behave that way, but I just dont think he understands it. So I bought him a toy gun with a target set. I explained to him that we can shoot targets but we dont shoot people and that seemed to help. He goes around pretending to shoot things instead of people. Just a suggestion. Hope it helps.

[deleted account]

We never played games like this either, but my son started to when he was three. I don't really have much helpful advice except that it is a normal part of young children's play. When my son did it, I told him that it wasn't very nice and his reply was "it's just pretend Mummy" so I let him go. I don't want to make a big deal out of it so I tell him it's not nice but if he tells me it's pretend I accept that for the moment and tell him to play gently.

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