As parents we have found it hard to avoid this type of toy and play. Both having boys, they have naturally been drawn to them. Everywhere you look there is advertisements for weapons for boys to play with, whether it be in video games, action men or TV programmes. Boys are naturally boisterous when playing, which lends itself to this type of imaginative play. Both our sons own and regularly play with guns and swords virtually or physically, and if they didn’t I’m sure they would pretend they had them anyway or build them out of Lego!
We feel that we treat this the same as we would do professionally, within a childcare setting. We teach our children the importance of safe play and precautions when it comes to weapons. Always making sure that all participants in the play are willing to be involved and that if not, then it’s unacceptable.
When working with children this topic came up often and a main point used to explain our choices was that if we ban this type of play or say guns are completely bad; some children may have fathers who are in the army, police force or farming and use guns, are we then saying they are bad people for doing their job.
It is definitely a difficult topic to agree or disagree completely with, we must teach our children the consequences of real life and hope that they learn from that; but it’s also important to know that extensive research shows no correlation between playing with guns and weapons as children and violent behaviour in later life.