Yesterday my six year old DS decided to compile his first "To Do" list on the computer. All very sweet, I thought, left him to it and he promptly finished up/went off to bed.
Later on, in the spirit of nosy parenting, I decided to have a look and see what he wrote. This is where it stopped being so sweet: there was just one item on the list "Bring E to the park and shoot her"
He's always been very gun obsessed - he carries a rifle type thing with him all round the house, pretending to shoot at me and generally would love to own all the Nerf guns in the world. I just took this as standard little boy behaviour that he would grow up of. There has been a few instances of downloading "shoot em up" type apps to the tablet, but this was curtailed as soon as I found out and the settings have now all been blocked.
But now I'm worried. Is it just "normal" 6yo behaviour to actually detail that you are intending to shoot someone or am I breeding a small psychopath here? And, if the latter, what can I do about it? I have tried to talk to him about it, but he is very defensive, said "E" was a made up name and that he doesn't want to talk about it at the moment. Ideally I'd like to "do" something to address this, without lambasting him with threats, as he will just clam up and he will stop telling me/letting me see stuff. Any ideas? Help.
I meant to say that generally he is a lovely bright non aggressive little boy, who is very kind and loving. So this isn't an extension of anything else - it is just very out of character (apart from the gun stuff). That's why it is so hard to know what to do..
My 9 yr old says similar when he gets angry especially - 'I want to shoot so and so in the head' being a typical response.
It's difficult because they really don't understand what they are saying but we've talked to DS a lot about guns and the horror they cause. I often think it's said just to provoke a response because they know you'll be shocked.
Probably as you are doing just try to talk about any underlying angry feelings or worries your ds has when he's ready to talk about it. I've read some useful stuff eg How to talk so your child will listen, There's a volcano in my tummy etc and used the supernanny website in the past to address these things..
Thanks, that has made me feel a bit better, I was just concerned as he actually wrote it down, it wasn't intended for me at all. But it would seem to come from the same place i.e. anger. That is good place to start. Thanks!
I'd start by taking all toy guns/ weapons away. You obviously can't really stop him picking up a stick and pretending its a gun, but I wouldn't allow toy guns around him at home. Even if it doesn't cause or encourage the behaviour, it certainly isn't going to help. Other than that I'd just explain to him that it's not nice to say things like that. Maybe every time he refers to guns etc, just say 'we don't talk in a violent way please.' Treat it the same way as if he was swearing; it's not an acceptable way to talk. But I wouldn't worry hugely, it's normal behaviour from a lot of boys that age.