This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
DS obsessed with Goodies & Baddies(11 Posts)
DS loves to play with his action figures and is most recently into Star Wars and playmobil pirate figures.
He loves to play goodies and baddies with them which usually includes them fighting and the baddie being put in prison etc. Even the playmobil toys he got for Christmas came with swords and guns and I'm just wondering if this kind of play is healthy and normal?
He's a kind gentle and sensitive boy and not agrees I've in any way but I'm worried this type of pretend play is not good.
Why are boys in particular so fascinated with fighting and killing baddies with guns etc?!
Is this a normal stage of development and how is best to deal with it and tone it down? Or am I over reacting and shall I just let him use his imagination and play?
My grandson was like this when he was about 4. Lasted a while. I was always the baddie and handcuffed and shut in the prison ( loo ) 😂 whenever he came to visit. Now he does it with his super hero models although not as much. My grand daughter doesn’t do it though. It’s just play let him get on with it.
I would say he's just trying to make sense of the world and he's trying to reassure himself that he feels safe. The goodies always win and the baddies are always in the wrong and are punished for their naughtiness.
Think about what he's watching on TV if you are worried. Some TV programmes are so overly moral. It's quite wearing!
Start slipping into conversations about other things that 'it doesn't matter because you can take care of business'.
It doesn't matter if there are roadworks on the way to school and you might be late because Mammy knows the other way to go. It doesn't matter that there isn't any weetabix left because Mammy knows how to make porridge and mammy can get some more at the shops. It doesn't matter if you get your feet wet on the walk because we are on our way home anyway and mammy can put them under the radiator.
My kids didn’t have toys with guns for ages, but they just made them out of Lego.
There’s no nuance at first, just an overwhelming need for justice and good to prevail.
I found it helpful to talk about real life situations (age appropriate) and that actually there aren’t fully good and bad people, just people who have made bad choices. We talk about people in prison and how they can turn their lives around. Labelling their toys as “he’s being a bad guy” rather than “he’s a bad guy” (temporary vs permanent). We had some good stories in our church magazine that we shared, you can sometimes find them on the news etc. This can spill over into their play eventually, where the bad guys learn to say sorry.
Thanks for the replies!
It's so hard as I don't want to suppress his amazing imaginative play but want to teach him right from wrong with regards to goodies baddies and swords guns etc.
He said the other day 'mummy I can have a gun when I'm a big boy' and I was horrified I explained that it's only make believe with the toys and their guns etc and in real life no body has guns (I know that's not entirely true but best I could explain on the spot 😂)
Am I doing the right thing?
Just to add when he said that the other day 'mummy when I'm a big boy I can have a gun' and I said no you can't as it's just pretend he went all tearful and embarrassed as if he knew he had said something silly.
I want to teach him the right things but also not suppress his imagination, role play and natural boy desire to fight goodies and baddies
You might find this blogpost interesting, from Early Years Education writer Alistair Bryce-Clegg. I saw him speak about this at a conference a few years ago (I’m a teacher).
Speaking from the mum of 2 boys, the whole goodies/baddies and guns phase is simply that- a phase that a lot of little boys seem to have to go through...and with most phases it will pass.
I was always determined that my first born (now 10) would never have a toy gun. But by the age of 3, he was heavily into Spiderman and super heroes, and the toy gun requests followed a short time after.
I assume this all came from pre school as it wasn't something we were really into- toys at home up to that point were all duplo and wooden train tracks!
Anyway, the initial guns were made out of Lego, or sticks or cardboard. So I gave in.
He's since had a succession of various nerf guns and toy rifles.. He's had amazing imaginary games with these, usually accompanied by lots of running about and hiding in the garden. And that's all they were to him. Just games.
They are too little to associate guns with anything other than an exciting, noisy game.
Now at 10, the whole gun phase is behind us. He's still a sensitive and kind young man.
My 2nd son who is 6 has never really been as bothered with them. Different era, different friends and different crazes.
Don't worry about it. You little one is not going to turn into a horrible aggressive adult. He will outgrow them.
(Then he'll be pestering for an iPhone) 😉
If it helps traditional "girls" play often have good vs bad. For example the Evil Stepmother tries to kill Snow White
If my son said can I have a gun when I grow up then I would say that he'd have to become a police officer then which is wholesome and nice.
What you need to keep an eye on is his play not becoming violent when playing with others. Little kids can forget that people get hurt so a goodie figure beating the baddie figure can end up hurting the fingers of the person hurting the baddie finger etc
Please login first.