What do you moms think of children playing with toy guns?

Hope - posted on 06/03/2012 ( 12 moms have responded )

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Maybe I am over reacting but there was boys outside yesterday with toy guns, And I did NOT want my daughter around that kind of stuff, Maybe I was kind of out of line to ask the boys to go to the other side of the playground and play. I tried to keep my daughter away from them, but she was eager to play. I hate toy guns cause it reminds me of violence.

Signed paranoid mom.

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Sinclairbrooks - posted on 07/11/2012

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My 5 year old son and his friends play with toy guns. We have had a discussion and he knows the power real guns have & that his toy guns are just that, toys. When he plays with his guns the rule is that he does not point them at ANY living object unless it is a person playing in the game with him.

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Sophia Marie - posted on 11/11/2012

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yes you were out of line... its not your playground .. and you should have move... you are teaching your child that you can push others around. you should have explain why gun were bad and leave it at that. I never like guns.... but I dont pick on other people's children I teach my own.

Marian - posted on 07/14/2012

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I have a not toy gun policy for my son and the boys that I nanny for. But they end up playing with them at friends' houses, or turning sticks or found items into guns anyway. So, what I have done it try to teach empathy surrounding gun play. I try and help my boys understand how it feels emotionally to be told that 'I killed you'. I also ask that they don't point at people, but at trees or inanimate objects. We also regularly talk about the danger of real guns. It's hardest for my 3 year old to understand that real guns hurt people to the point that they go away(die), but we talk about it. Gun play is going to happen, and the more you stay so adamant about it, the more your child will gravitate towards it. Education and open dialog is the best way to navigate through issues like this. Hope this is helpful.

Bethany - posted on 07/07/2012

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My husband is retired from the army and we are gun collectors. I feel it is important to teach children the dangers of guns and weapons before they are exposed even to the toy ones. My 5 year old son LOVES playing with his guns and swords, but we have taught him (and are constanlty reinforcing) what to do if he comes into contact with a real one or one he isn't sure is real or not. We also discuss that they shouldn't be used to hurt or kill people unless they are trying to kill you! Yes, you can teach a child as young as 3 years old this!!!!! I am a perschool teacher for children who live in violent homes and it is part of our curriculum. You would be suprised how much they understand. Sometimes kids must be exposed to this kind of stuff, because there could be a day when you are not around and she comes into contact with a weapon. If you haven't educated her she may not know what to do. I do however, respect those parents who do not want their child playing with weapons.

Now I have to admit, I wouldnt have been happy with you telling my son to move to the other side of the playground with the guns. If my son is in a situation I don't like, I remove him from the situation.

Rebekah - posted on 06/12/2012

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I do not want my son playing with gun toys either. My son and I were at a park when he was about 3 or 4, and there was a boy who showed up (couldn't have been much more than 7 or so himself) with a whole backpack full of toy guns/weapons. Little by little, he shared his "weapons" with as many kids as he could find and before you knew it, the kids were playing war all over the monkey bars/slides/playground equipment, right along side the little toddlers and others who weren't involved. This boy even had toy grenades that he would pretend to activate and then hit the ground for cover. Frankly, this so disturbed me it only reinforced my feelings about kids and gun play. With real stories of school shootings and the current wars going on, I can't quite stomach children playing with things that, if they were real, would cause such pain and havoc. At the time, I chose to remove my son to another part of the park and tried to simply explain my point of view to him (in an age appropriate way).

I'm not naive; I do realize that boys, especially, may have this tendency to act out agressive impulses in that way and can make guns out of anything. I'm not going to micromanage all parts of how my son chooses to play, but I do want him to understand the value of human life and let him know if I think something is inappropriate. I know that guns are also used for hunting, but most gun play seems to be around shooting human targets rather than bears or deer. Just my opinion. I know we will run into this issue as he gets older (he's 6 now) and has friends whose parents have different believes and may have violent video games accessible. I don't think my opinion will change, however!

Hope - posted on 06/09/2012

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And I did write this post to ask for Honest opinions, and realize there is many different opinions. And I totally respect your honesty and opinion. Thank you.

Happy - posted on 06/07/2012

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My son has several and so does my daughter. They love playing pow. It is a game, good guys/bad guys, cops and robbers. I'm sorry, I jsut don't see anything wrong with it. SAYING that, if you wish not to have your daughter around it, if I were the boys Mom, I would TOTALLY understand your wanting them to play in a different are than your daughter. Just remember, if it is a public park, they have as much right to be there as y'all.

Rachael - posted on 06/07/2012

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I would just like to add to my comment after reading Talis post, I think my attitude might be a bit different if I was in America. Even though I don't like the gun play, I have accepted it as part of being a Mum of a boy, however I am in Australia and our gun laws and liscensing requirements are quite strict, guns are not common in households here. I think if I lived in the US I would be much more reluctant about gun play, how I would educate my son about attitudes towards guns etc would be quite different. as the potential to come across a real gun is possibly a lot bigger. So I can understand completley your attitude and would feel exactly the same way. PS This is not a criticism of your country, I would love to visit one day. !

Tali - posted on 06/07/2012

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I am also a bit of an over reacter when it comes to toy guns, but I too don't want my kids playing with them and even playing imaginary shooting games (unless they're imaginary shooting water).
I understand that some parents think its fine and I respect their decision too.
My most serious problem is there have been stories of young children 'playing' with their parents' or their friends' parents guns not realising they were real and seriously harming themselves or their friends unintentionally - that thought scares me!

Rachael - posted on 06/06/2012

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I can understand your reaction to that. As a Mum of a boy, who isn't that keen on guns I have to say, they will do it anyway, pick up a stick off the ground and away they go. My boy is a kind and considerate person, but his imaginary play often involves guns. To make it somewhat less confronting his guns are all space shaped guns, intergalactic stuff, not battlefield stuff. Don't know if it is actually any different but it makes me feel better. LOL. For your daughter, if you let her participate and discover for herself that she is not really that interested that might be the way to go. If you stop her she might be more determined to join in. Just a thought. I don't think it would lead to any long term harm, its probably just basic curiosity.

Angela - posted on 06/05/2012

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I can understand, and its a decision that every parent kind of has to to make to what they feel comfortable with, I honestly don't think its going to make a difference one way or the other, but if something makes you feel better then do what feels right to you.

I run a daycare and we don't have toy guns here, one of the kids in my daycare has a family member that was killed through a violent attack, and I don't think its appriotate, and even before that kid came we still limited play with guns or swords to almost nothing, it just wasn't something I wanted in my daycare.

BUT with our own child I'm sure we'll have toy guns and swords for them. My father and husband has already bought them one, and I always played with them, right from the time I was year and half.. two years old until I was 10 or 11 years old (and they were still there I just kind of grew out of it). My father had me out shooting REAL rifles with him when I was 4 years old, and I shot them growing up, and still will target shoot every now and then at my parents or with my husband.

I also played violent video games (I can remember my father LOVED playing Turok with me), and watched action movies none of which had any affect on me. I'm completely against violence, I 110% believe an eye or eye will leave everyone blind, to always turn the other cheek and walk away, I can't even kill a bug (I scoop them up and put them outside), I'm about the furthest thing from aggressive, usually my problem is actually the opposite where I can't get mad at people or tell them no, and I've never been in a single fight or done anything aggressive in my life. So playing with toy guns, knives, and swords growing up had no affect on me growing up, it never made me do anything aggressive with the toys, or made me feel more aggressive because I played with them. But like I said, its a personal decision, our kid probably will, but I don't have them here for the kids in the daycare, I guess maybe because I can't explain the difference between gun safety with the daycare kids like I can around my own (who will be exposed to it from both grandfathers, my husband, there great uncles, most of my cousins, my mother, my grandmother, etc). I honestly believe at the end of the day it doesn't make a difference one way or the other, I don't think a toy gun makes a kid aggressive or not, but in my mind its just a toy, and if you feel uncomfortable with it, then its not a big deal to ask her not to play with that toy or to tell her if the kids across the road are playing guns that you want her to wait until there done playing with guns, just like if there was any other kids toy around that you didn't feel comfortable about.

Hope - posted on 06/03/2012

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Any opinions of this? I do realize some opinions will be quite blunt so I will have to remember to respect the opinion and take with a grain of salt.

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