Should Parents Allow Their Children To Play With Toy Guns?

The topic of whether children should be allowed to play with toy guns has been debated among parents for many years. According to child development professionals, few children that are younger than eight years can differentiate between toy guns and real guns, nor can they fully comprehend the repercussions of their actions. That is why kids often imitate what they see in movies or on television, handling a real loaded gun.  The personal values of families are different and not everyone allows their children to play with toy guns. However, it is often hard to restrict them if every other kid on the block has toy guns. If you permit your child to play with a toy gun, it is recommended to purchase one that does not look like an actual one. Opt for brightly colored water pistols, for instance. While it is not a regular occurrence, it has happened that kids got into trouble or sustained injuries when a police officer mistakenly thought that the toy gun was the real McCoy. 

What Does The Research Suggest?

It is crucial that we as parents teach our children about topics that surround violence and guns. If we ban our children from something, their curiosity might just want them more. The awesome thing about play, though, is that it is mostly play. The research suggests that no evidence exist that children who play with toy guns are more hostile. Some evidence does suggest that children who use aggression when playing are often better at calming themselves down in real-life scenarios. Children are creative and resourceful beings. Taking their toy guns away from them might just encourage them to make their own makeshift gun from other things around the home. However, if your child tends to act aggressively outside a play setting, or threatens to shoot someone when he’s angry, it is time to have a talk to him and explain the difference between pretend and real life, which he might have issues with, contingent on his age. 

What We As Parents Can Do

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Having open conversations with our children about the issues that involve guns is more crucial than permitting them to play with a nerf gun, plastic noisemaker, or squirt gun.  Also, assess what he is watching online or on television. Research has shown a link between aggressive behavior and violent media, which is more relevant than the issue surrounding playing with toy guns. Merely disallowing toy guns, it is more crucial to expose him to movies or shows that have a less violent nature.  We must talk to our children about gun violence and gun safety since they will be exposed to it on the internet, at school, on the news, television, or friends. With any difficult topic it is always best to hear it from their parents first. We must keep in mind that this is an ongoing talk over the years when they grow and start developing a better understanding of what goes on in the world surrounding them. Children are wired to listen and learn from their parents.

Dangers Surrounding Toy Guns

Any toy guns that fire bullets (made from plastic, etc.) cause numerous injuries every year, especially to the face and eyes. Therefore, teach your children about the dangers associated with playing with toy guns and how to play responsibly. 

 

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