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DD aged 3 is interested in 'pretend' guns and shooting things, should I discourage this? and How?

(8 Posts)
PavlovtheForgetfulCat Mon 06-Jul-09 09:01:29

DD is just 3 (last week). Her main peers are 6year old boy, and 2 4 year old boys at the moment (friend's children). They are obsessed with swords and guns and shooting things, monsters, aliens, people etc. Now one of them has a pretend gun, but the others don't, they pretend. They are not that I can tell encouraged by their parents, although as far as I can see they are not necessarily dissuaded either, except when around DD, when they are encouraged to play a different game.

Now this is not always possible and DD loves joining with the boys' games. We went camping and there were the boys plus another 6 year old and they spent much of their time 'shooting' each other.

DD is copying this. She had nothing weapon related, and watches nothing violent related of any kind, but of course at this age her imagination is amazing and she 'shoots's us with pretend guns, sticks.

This morning she pointed a pretend mobile at me and said 'peoooowng' I just pilled you mama!' I am presuming she means 'killed' and its a bit scary even though she clearly has no idea what this actually means as she can't even say the word right!!!

So, should I ignore? Should I accept this is normal development given her peers, and is perfectly fine? Should I discourage it and if so how? Do I say no don't say that/do that? Or just guide her into doing something else? She is not obsessed, she does plenty of things that are not of concern, but this particular area of fun for her is a little disconcerting.

WWYD, What have you done? How might you manage this?

elliepac Mon 06-Jul-09 09:06:38

I have long since given up trying to stop DS (5) from playing these types of games. Although you may feel differently as you have a DD, I really don't see the harm and certainly don't think that playing with guns is going to to encourage violence later on in life if that's what you are worried about. DS is a very affectionate and kind boy and really just does see it as a game.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Mon 06-Jul-09 09:09:07

I am not so much worried about she might grow up, but more than I am shocked and surprised to see my little princess killing things!

elliepac Mon 06-Jul-09 09:15:45

Well, having said that, I think I will probably feel the same when DD starts to follow Ds's lead. If her peer group is boys than I am sure it is just a phase. If it makes you feel better, a lot of our friends have girls and outside of school/playdates, DS mainly plays with girls and DH is permanently upset about the fact that his PFB DS likes to dress up with them in make-up etc grin. I would just let her get on with it and enjoy herself.

[reminds herself to come back and look at her own advice in a year or so when DD starts pretending to shoot everything in sight]

Rubyrubyrubyinthegame Mon 06-Jul-09 09:17:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SoupDragon Mon 06-Jul-09 09:19:26

She plays with boys. Why are you surprised??

Just leave it. I always ensured DSs knew that real weapons were bad things and let them get on with it.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Mon 06-Jul-09 09:20:18

LOL ruby grin

AMumInScotland Mon 06-Jul-09 09:28:25

There's no need to do anything particular to discourage it - it just seems to be one of those things which children pick up, but they lose interest in it eventually. They don't have any idea that "killing" people that way has any connection to genuine violence or death, it really is just pretend.

When I was a kid, we spent entire summers jumping out and shooting each other from doorways, but none of us grew up with any problems with violence etc.

If you dislike it, or grandparents etc dislike it, you can always say certain people are "off limits" for this game, same as you would if they were throwing water around!

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