Managing Boys’ Gun Fascination

by |  March 3rd, 2014

The truth is much of “boy” play can be pretty violent, but there are ways to curb this.

What Can Parents Do?Raising Boys

  • Try Not to Endorse It.The most important thing to do is to limit your implicit endorsement of violence. Doing so sends a message that violence—killing, shooting, destroying—is something you don’t support. By endorsement I mean his exposure to violent images (videos, movies, even cartoons or the evening news), violent stories, and violent video games. The amount of amount of violence and aggression in the media is shocking.  Click here to read AAP guidelines on media use and kids.
  • Keep a Watch…When Feasible. For instance, if you are in charge of the play date, you can say that he and his friends need to pick a different game because you don’t allow guns or fighting bad guys at your house.
  • Talk WITH him versus TO him.Rather than wagging the finger and saying “no”, start a conversation. If he’s playing with a gun or shooting bad guys, ask him what he’s doing and make sure he understand what’s pretend and what’s real.

Just remember, as a parent, there is only so much we can control, but we have the ability to significantly limit the amount of violent playtime in our children’s lives.

Ari Brown, MD

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411 Pediatrics


Dr. Ari Brown founded 411 Pediatrics and After Hours Care in Austin after two decades of education and experience in child development, behavioral pediatrics and pediatric healthcare. Our pediatric associates, consisting of pediatricians, pediatric nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and lactation consultants, share a common goal. We partner with parents to help children grow up healthy, happy, and resilient!

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