My 6 yr old has been drawing violent pictures

Kristie - posted on 06/11/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )




When my son is with his father, he is allowed to play violent video games, such as COD, modern warfare, Saints Row and more. He is only 6!! I have asked time and time again that he not be allowed to play them, but its just no big deal to his dad. Now at school he is drawing pictures of people shooting other people, bombs with insides coming out of people, blood everywhere and I just don't know what to do anymore.
I am not perfect by any means. I do allow him to watch cartoon network, which now i realize was a bad choice. I am going to try and change that and go more with Nick and Disney in the home. The only TV he gets at home is really at night. He is not allowed video games during the week at home either. This makes me the "bad mom" and he always wants to go to his fathers because he says I'm mean and I dont let him do anything. I only can hope that one day he will realize. Any one else have a similar situation or any suggestions??


Rebekah - posted on 06/11/2012




Speaking as an art therapist (just my 2 cents, not a professional consultation!), kids drawings can reflect all kinds of things. He might be drawing because its a reflection of what he's being exposed to with the video games (obviously). But also consider that through the artwork, he's trying to "master" the content (working out his fears, trying to find a sense of control over something scary)...on some level he may be trying to process the simulated violence he sees. I don't know that I would stifle the artwork entirely; however, I'd ask him not to do it at school. And if he continues to do it at home, I'd have him sit down and talk about it with me so I could find out more about how he's handling it in his mind. If he seems troubled by it, the artwork could be a tool to help him articulate what he's feeling about the violence (and be a teachable moment as to why you don't think its the best thing for him to play right now). However, if he seems to be continuing the "play" of the violence through his artwork and enjoying that process, I might try to redirect those energies into sports or some other acceptable way of channelling that energy and not have him feed into the violent stuff more by recreating it in the artwork again and again.

Additionally, what about finding a video game that you do approve of and one he likes that he could take to dad's?

I would be upset by dad's different set of rules too. Would he be open to reading any articles about how violent simulated content can desensitize people to real violence? Maybe not...if he's already desensitized! But I'm with you...I really monitor what my son sees, and he's sensitive to anything remotely scary. See if you can find other ways to get your message across... (articles, feedback from teacher/counselor if he's drawing at school and they express concern, or having another relative talk to dad, etc.) Its important. I might also want to be sure my son would have opportunities to build empathy/awareness for others who are hurt, sick, etc. so that victims aren't continuously portrayed as faceless objects.

Dove - posted on 06/11/2012




Maybe you can take the pictures to a counselor and ask for advice.

Other than that... keep being the 'bad mom' because that's a pretty good sign that you are doing something right.

Katherine - posted on 06/11/2012




My daughter is allowed to watch Power Rangers at her dad's. I am totally against it because she comes home doing Karate moves. I too have told him time and time again. She is also 6. He also let's her watch some violent episodes of animal planet. That gives her nightmares.

I Don't know what to do either. She hasn't drawn any violent pictures yet though. I would really push the importance of him NOT to draw these pictures. I would actually take things away or put him in time out. I put my daughter in time out when she does her "Karate" moves on her little sister. I know it's not entirely his fault but you need to be stern about this. Is he doing it in school?


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Kristie - posted on 06/18/2012




Yes I noticed on a few drawings that he brought home from school. I am worried that the school may take action. I have contacted a "play group" therapist and he will start this week. He has had 2 other episodes of acting out this week at school. He has never done this before and I'm a bit worried.

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