I came across a piece by Heather Turgeon today. Her 3 1/2 year old son loves to “shoot” stuff and turns just about any object around him into a gun.
She’s coming to terms with why he loves this seemingly aggressive form of play and how “the proclivity for battles, however innocent and good-natured, is also hard-wired somewhere in his developing brain. Natural selection has most definitely given humans a set of genes for — call it what you may — fighting, aggression, or self-defense. And I’m pretty sure those genes express themselves in the early play of rambunctious little preschoolers.”
So, what if my pre-schooler doesn’t care about guns?
It’s not that he hasn’t been exposed to any guns or gun-like toys. We even have a pinwheel “shooter” that definitely looks like some kind of space gun. He’s seen pieces of Toy Story. He goes to school with other kids that probably enjoy gun play, and there’s tons of superhero and Star Wars play at school, too.
I’ll admit that he’s also not really into watching movies, and we definitely have not screened Star Wars in our house, so this could contribute to his lack of excitement.
While we don’t encourage any type of gun play, we wouldn’t discourage it, either. If he were to bring it up, we would probably go with the flow, albeit a ‘guided’ flow. Like Heather mentions, I’m sure we’d have a number of conversations about safety, etc.
Look, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad my son doesn’t like to play with toy guns, but I can’t help but wonder, does this mean that he won’t develop any type of self-defense? Is it perfectly normal for him NOT to play with guns, too?
Also, do you think the media has a big part of why kids like to play with guns? Could the fact that the only “T.V.” my 3-year-old wants to watch is A380 airplanes taking off on Youtube, have anything to do with his disinterest in guns?
Photo via Flickr