When is it okay for kids to engage in weapon or super hero play? The Go-To Mom gives tips on how to handle weapon play and young children.
Children and Weapon play. Kimberley Clayton Blaine: Young children are typically not in control of their own lives. For many children weapon play is a way that they can process their fears, feel safe and experiment with self-defense. This is a natural phase and should come after 4 or 5 years of age. The discovery in lower toddler pretend weapon is expected. However, children under 4 years should not be exposed to violent influences from their peers or the media. It is not advised to encourage this type of play with toddlers. They are simply too young to comprehend any of the concepts. As children grow older, they begin to understand how weapons have played a part of our history. They maybe keen to ask questions about why people use guns and swords. Superhero on weapon play make it possible for preschoolers to do some sorting by making distinctions between good and evil, right and wrong, power and powerlessness, good guys versus bad guys. The power and weight of superheros are attractive to young children, who feel that they have few of these qualities. Here are ways to help support superhero play. State the roles such as, use your body and words without hurting others, yourself, or property. Take opportunities to talk about how the evil willing might have otherwise solved his problem. Help children rotate roles, so that everyone can be the good guy and the bad guy equally. Set up safety measures to allow children to leave the game or rotate roles, whenever they wish. Provide props for fire fighting, to capture wild animals, or to save burning buildings. These alternatives give children power over fearful situations without violence. Monitor T.V. and video viewing and their exposure to real life of violence. Children need a lot of time for creative play. This means less television and more interaction in a supportive and learning environment. Limit the amount of time allowed for aggressive play. Stop hurtful language and actions. Work with the children to decide alternatives for next time. Everyday you should give your children power by letting them make choices and take responsibility.