17 answers

4 Year Old Playing Cops & Robbers

What do all of you think about kids, mainly boys, playing cops & robbers? I live in a neighborhood on a cul de sac of mostly boys ranging from 4-8 years old. When we’re outside playing it seems that all they want to do is get their water guns/dart guns and play shoot em up. I have a 4 year old and over this weekend he actually got in and joined the cops and robbers game. The boy who always seems to initiate this game came running out and handed my son a dart gun and said “I’m the bad guy” and showed him how to use the Nerf gun. One of the Moms commented “what is it about boys that they want to play pretend guns?” Everyone laughed.
Truly I just wasn’t comfortable watching all these boys pretending to shoot at each other so I made an excuse that we had to go inside. The other Moms just continued talking away and not minding that the kids were playing this. Is this normal at such a young age? Do I need to get over it? LOL
I’ve always thought it was strange watching the little guys “shoot” at each other but watching my son join in, I’m not comfortable with it.
What are the opinions of all you Moms out there? I want to hear both sides. Thanks a bunch!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I know you have filled in the "so what happened" part of this, but as someone who loves guns (the real type) and actually likes to go out range shooting, I still don't think it appropriate for kids to "play" guns. Kids seem to think that guns are toys, but in reality they are weapons and should be treated with respect. I know you can teach them real gun safety at 3 and 4 years old, and I would recommend doing that. I firmly believe that kids NEED to know how dangerous a gun really is because there are idiots out there. If that means taking that child to the range and having him see a watermelon the size of his head blow up when when it is hit with a bullet and then explaining that same bullet can do that to his head, DO IT. There are some great websites for this like http://www.corneredcat.com/ she is a woman that raised 5 boys and conceal carried a gun the whole time. And form some of her stories you can tell her kids were handfuls!

2 moms found this helpful

I see no problem with it.I played with boys when I was little and we played the same stuff when I was a kid and none of us grew up to be a " bad guy" or police officer. In fact I don't know anyone that did grow up to be a "bad guy".
Relax mom he will be fine. He will likely grow out of it.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I tried to keep my first son from guns, but every stick became one. My second son, I don't try at all. He's 8 and has a BB gun, air soft guns, water guns, play guns, nerf, etc. Of course, we live in Texas, the land of guns, but still - it's in a boys nature. I know many parents don't agree with me, but I'd prefer to teach him the safety rules of the guns that actually shoot things (nerf, bb, airsoft) and let him lead his fantasy life of army, etc. I believe that if I teach him to be a good person, he won't use guns for bad purposes. Just like putting a teen in the driver seat of a car (another deadly weapon) doesn't mean they will be dangerous speeders that run over children. You teach them responsibility.

3 moms found this helpful

I do play therapy with kids and guns are a symbol of power, not of killing or hurting, but power. You give a kid a pencil, heck, they'll use their fingers and they'll pretend to have a gun, again, power. So, it is normal.

My daughter is three and the first time I gave her a super soaker, she loved the power that came w/ soaking mama and, for fun, I over dramatized her power over me. For those kids who have little say and no power of choice at home, I would worry. Parent who raise their kids with the power of choice have little need to worry about the symbolism of a gun.

I would oversee how the kids choose to play together. It is aggressive, in good fun, might makes right, etc? The fact the kid taught him how to play tells me he wanted to share the power, to join in the fun, rather than I want to shoot you and have power over you as initiating play. Do watch though..

Know that I am absolutely for gun control, way on the left, and that I feel comfortable with this type of play (I emphasize play) because I will eventually talk to my daughter about what guns literally as opposed to figuratively in play.

J.

2 moms found this helpful

I see no problem with it.I played with boys when I was little and we played the same stuff when I was a kid and none of us grew up to be a " bad guy" or police officer. In fact I don't know anyone that did grow up to be a "bad guy".
Relax mom he will be fine. He will likely grow out of it.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, you need to get over it, that's what boys do. I think it must be in their instinct to protect, and nothing protects better than a gun. I think so many people are afraid of guns, simply because they don't know how to use them. My hubby bought me gun for my b-day 4 yrs ago, and I finally learned to use it a few weeks ago. I was pretty nervous about using it, but once I learned how, and that it can't just go off, I'm fine carrying one. Let your boy be a boy, and I'd bet if you took some classes and did some research, you will think differently. :-) Cities that allow concealled carry have less crime. You never know who is carrying a gun, and the bad guys know that, so they're going to go places where they know nobody will have guns.

2 moms found this helpful

We did that growing up. It's natural.

2 moms found this helpful

I know you have filled in the "so what happened" part of this, but as someone who loves guns (the real type) and actually likes to go out range shooting, I still don't think it appropriate for kids to "play" guns. Kids seem to think that guns are toys, but in reality they are weapons and should be treated with respect. I know you can teach them real gun safety at 3 and 4 years old, and I would recommend doing that. I firmly believe that kids NEED to know how dangerous a gun really is because there are idiots out there. If that means taking that child to the range and having him see a watermelon the size of his head blow up when when it is hit with a bullet and then explaining that same bullet can do that to his head, DO IT. There are some great websites for this like http://www.corneredcat.com/ she is a woman that raised 5 boys and conceal carried a gun the whole time. And form some of her stories you can tell her kids were handfuls!

2 moms found this helpful

I had to click on your name to see if we lived in the same cul-de-sac when I read your post!!! The kids in my neighborhood are ALWAYS playing "guns" or whatever it is they do, since some of them were 3 years old. I was so anti-anything gun until about 3 months ago when my son (6) got his very first nerf gun... my in-laws couldn't believe I actually got him one lol. I think it really depends how the kids are playing. If they are not being super violent then it maybe isn't as big of a deal. The kids around here, however, will shoot even at adults, screaming "DIE DIE DIE!!!" They are a little too obsessed with the shooting games if you ask me and it really freaks me out actually. Needless to say, my kids do not play with the neighborhood boys, but I HAVE lightened up a little on the gun thing. Maybe wait another year or so if you feel uncomfortable. Once your son is a little older it will be easier for you to talk to him about what is real and what is not, etc. :)

2 moms found this helpful

We had the same concern as our boys grew up (8&12), we agreed from the begining that we would not buy, promote or alow any gifts that had to do with guns or violence. It was a shock to us when we found a pretend to be gun made from wire hanger, cardbord, clips and stuff in our son's room under the bed, he was 6 at the time. We decided that it was a boy's thing, no metter how, and we confirm it with our second child, same story. Now the 12 as grown out of it, but the 8 year old plays with his playmates with the safest that we bought, those nerf ones. Now sometimes they play with them and most of the time they play base ball or fut ball or many other things, and then eventualy they will come back to the nerf stuff. It is almost imposible to get rid of that influence, it is everywere, the best that has work to us is provide other options as much as posible, and be more aware of other playmates.

1 mom found this helpful

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