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  1. #1
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    Default Guns and kinder

    I've always been really adamant about staying clear of allowing my children to purchase or make or pretend something is a gun for very obvious reasons. I've instilled this in all of my children since they were really young.

    DS who is 4 made a gun out of Lego the other day and I discouraged it and started making other things out of the Lego and he followed (cars, houses etc).

    I don't know if they discourage this at DS's kinder, but is it my place to say anything to them? I am really not happy with him having anything to do with guns.

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    You'll probably find they already have a policy about weapons. Let them know he did it at home and ask what they do at kinder.

    At our kinder I think they have given up saying no and have progressed to teaching them appropriate play - not pointing at friends, not shooting people, reminding that guns are dangerous.

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    sunnygirl79  (24-07-2016)

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    Completely understand where you are coming from, had the same thing happen last year. Suddenly DS1 became obsessed with making guns out of Lego/cardboard/anything and I was horrified! I did ask the kindy teacher what was the best approach, as I wanted to discourage 'guns' but didn't want to make such a big deal out of it (as that can make it all the more exciting). There were several boys at our kindy who played pretend guns and it's apparently very common at this age - it only takes one kid to introduce it and all of a sudden they all want in. Young boys love playing shooting games. They'll use sticks, their hands, anything as a pretend gun. They don't understand what real guns are or why we wouldn't want them to play with pretend guns. They also undergo a testosterone surge around 4/5 years old and this might have something to do with it too.

    Our teacher said they try to explain to the children they don't need guns at kindy because kindy is a safe place, and if they insist on playing pretend guns (with their hands, they don't have you guns obviously), she would allocate a small space in the yard for them to play - then once time was up they had to 'put their guns away' and not play with them for the rest of the day.

    I am not sure if this approach is best, I don't like to encourage playing with guns at all. But I would be interested to hear how other parents/teachers handle this. I know that flat out forbidding an activity can place unnecessary focus on it and make it more intriguing. I try to ignore 'gun play' at home - so it becomes uninteresting (ie it's no fun if it's not getting him any attention), but if he brings his 'Lego gun' to the dinner table etc I say 'no guns on the table' and 'mummy doesn't like guns, guns are not nice'. And that's about it.

    I will also say that about 12 months on, the gun novelty has worn off somewhat. He has been given a few Lego sets that include tiny weapons but I am not about to take them away for the reasons above. He also has super soakers for the pool. It's a never ending battle, I think it's near impossible to shelter them from all types of 'gun' toys.

    He now (just turned 5) prefers to play with his light sabers, for some reason I don't mind that as much. I think guns are still exciting for him but he is no longer making them out of Lego or drawing then like he was 12 months ago.

    Sorry for the long story! Definitely chat to your kinder teacher about how they handle it, no doubt you're not the only parent wandering about this!

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    You're right about making it a big deal and kids only wanting to do it more. Thanks for all the advice. I will speak to the kinder teacher and see what she says

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    It's pretty much impossible to avoid. We have no gun toys in our house and even other weapons we try to avoid like swords for example. I did get my DS a jake & the never land pirate sword a couple of years ago when he was 3 as part of a costume, and as soon as he started bashing things with it, I immediately took it away.

    But like everyone above has experienced with their children, he picked up the Lego building guns at childcare, and now he builds them all the time. Not at home thankfully, but literally every time I pick him up from childcare, he is consumed in a Lego building mission and is keen to show me the "pill-pill" on the rocket ship or whatever he is building. Everything he builds has a gun. It's annoying but I don't make a big deal out of it.

    I figure this is an age thing and he will grow out of it.

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    I'll also add that we are a hunting and farming family and live in a country community so we tend not to ban all talk of guns. I see it as important that I discuss guns with my kids because they do see them being used. My eldest especially is very aware and will tell us if we need to get the gun so obviously has a goo understanding of appropriate use.

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    I'm opposite.

    My kids will learn to shoot at the age they are allowed too as we have hunting dogs & enjoy it.

    It's actually beneficial for kids to rough play and think like that. It's about development. You just have to put him in right direction. Goodluck

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    There was a story in the news earlier this year (I think) about a kindy that allowed gun play but used it to teach the kids gun safety & law. So they had to apply for a 'license' to bring a toy guy, which was kept in a locked cupboard (gunsafe) & they could only use it for pretend target shooting or pretend pest control. Bad behaviour (pointing toy gun at other kids etc) meant loss of license.
    I think that was a great idea - my parents drilled gun safety into our heads as kids (farmers so had a shotgun). I'll be teaching my kids how to shoot when they are old enough. So rather than a blanket ban on gun play I will be allowing regulated gun play (should my DDs want to).

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