Experts encourage children to play toy guns but some mums skeptic

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As it turns out your children probably will not turn out to be serial killers later in life if they’re fond of rough play and play fighting.

When it comes to video games and violence, the general consensus it seems is that it does nothing beneficial to a child’s mind. Instead, it normalises in children violence and cultivates a violent mind.

Following the same logic, toy guns and swords and similar toys should be equally deemed harmful.

Yet, new studies say that toy guns are not only a normal part of childhood, but it should also be encouraged.

In a Courier Mail report, Dr. Jennifer Hart, an Associate Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at the University of The Sunshine Coast, said that parents have nothing to fear, and that their child will not develop any negative behaviour buy playing with such toys.

In fact, she says that playing with toy guys can help assist a child social and academic development.

“Research demonstrates playful aggression within early childhood programs is beneficial” she said, “yet it is typically discouraged by parents and teachers because it is interpreted to be inappropriate or dangerous.”

Well, as it turns out, your children probably will not turn out to be serial killers later in life if they’re fond of rough play and play fighting.

As it happens, such activities even help children develop an understanding of right and wrong, trust, empathy, restraint, co-operation, conflict resolution and co-ordination.

“Many parents grew up playing cowboys and Indians and Star Wars,” Dr. Jennifer said, “and to me it’s ironic because our children are doing the same, (we think) they’re going to grow up to be serial killers when we’re perfectly normal and contribute to society and hold normal jobs.”

But some mums are not convinced.

Mum Jacqui Porter, in her Mama Mia story about the same report, remembers when her son first uttered the word “gun.” He was then three.

“At that age he didn't actually understand what a gun was and what it did but I knew and when the word left his mouth it was like part of his innocence was taken away, right there in front of me,” she said.

At the end of the day, Jacqui says, she is not comfortable encouraging her children “to play with something that has the ability to cause so much hurt to another person, even if it's just a game.”

There only one purpose guns serve, and that is to hurt.

“To me,” she says, “that's not something that a child needs to be exposed to.”

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Written by

James Martinez

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