Kids & Gun Play (or, in this case, Sword Play)

Sheri Reed
toddler water gun

Photo by L0stNL0v3

"He's really into gun play," said one of Leo's preschool teachers when she pulled me aside a few weeks ago. She wasn't freaked out or coming down on my parenting. It's just a school rule: No gun play.

I wasn't all that freaked out, and sadly, I wasn't the least bit shocked either.

The Saturday before that, for the hour that my older son played soccer, I watched my almost-3-year old run between the trees, only to pop out every minute or so to raise his little stick to kill the "bad guys." Yeah, so I knew all about his new obsession with gun play.

This past weekend, we had an early 3rd birthday party for Leo, and he got a Nerf sword (thanks, R + S). He went a little nuts with the sword and we had to clear the other kids off the grass and almost immediately remove the sword from the birthday party.

While it's not up there in my proudest mommy moments, I'm still not that freaked out about his current fondness for weaponry. I don't promote it or buy my boys gun toys (other than water shooters), but I don't flip out about it either. And by no means do think it's any indication that he'll be a mass murderer someday.

Without using any science or psychology to break this down, it just seems like gun play, like tantrums and defiance, is so very normal — kids trying to find their power (or deal with their powerlessness) through play.

Do your toddlers do gun play, sword play, or any other games with toy or imaginary weapons? Does it freak you out?


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