Most children act out violently and aggressively. Children engage in rough play which can be dangerous especially for young children. Toy guns are popular among children and even in homes where real weapons are not allowed, children will still play with sticks to create do-it-yourself rifles and guns.
Children’s play that involves aggression can take many forms, including physical contact such as biting, kicking, or hitting. Also, destruction of property, intimidation through name-calling and attempts to exert control over others through force.
Why do kids have violent play?
- Some kids, like the kids of police officers and military personnel, grow up around guns and knives.
- A sense of strength and mastery is important for children’s emotional and social development.
- Children can deal with their worries about real-world events, how the news covers tragedies, and even bad dreams by making up stories.
For children, violence is a natural and normal response to the intense emotions they experience as they develop and learn. Violence can result from any negative emotion that isn’t properly addressed, such as confusion, fear, frustration, loneliness, rage, and so on.
If you don’t resolve these issues, they could be minor or major. If we ignore the feelings, they can grow and become overwhelming.
If a child’s strong emotions are repressed for too long, they can become stuck inside their body. Children, teenagers, and adults experience chronic stress when intense emotions are suppressed or not expressed.
Where do playful fighting end and a real problem begin?
If, despite parental efforts, their child still turns to violence to solve conflicts, they should seek professional help. Keep in mind that violent behavior can have its roots in some surprisingly popular childhood disorders.
Anxiety triggers the “flight or freeze” and the “fight” responses. In children, irritability, rather than sadness, is the hallmark of depression.
Also, unlike common belief, ADHD is not primarily characterized by a lack of focus but rather by a tendency toward acting on impulse without thinking things through. If you worry that your child’s violence could result from a psychiatric issue. There is improvement after treatment.
Nearly every parent has struggled to know what to do when their kid engages in violent play. First, remember that children’s violent behavior isn’t random. They can use these opportunities to instill positive values and behaviors.
The following are potential adverse effects for violent children.
- A lack of social interaction and difficulty forming new friendships
- The possibility of substance abuse increases
- Extremely harmful effects on others
- Weak ties with family
- Loss of or damage to property
- Issues with homework and other schoolwork
What kind of response should you expect from parents?
Make sure you keep a close eye on your kid so you can figure out what drives them.
- How common is it for kids to include toy guns in their make-believe games?
- Is pretending to shoot imaginary enemies a way for kids to work out their differences?
- Do kids act like they’ve seen in movies or on television?
Share your observations with your child. I see you’ve got guns. Excuse me, but could you please elaborate on that?
Tell your child a few (age-appropriate) facts about violence to help them understand its seriousness:
A seemingly harmless weapon for kids during play could be a real danger. No matter how harmless it appears, a weapon can be hazardous. To avoid further danger, kids should leave the area and tell an adult.
Kids might have been told that weapons are dangerous, so they might automatically associate anyone carrying a weapon with bad influences.
You can reassure your kids by explaining that many law enforcement officers and security guards carry weapons. For their protection, these individuals rely on firearms.
Guns are highly effective machines. They were never intended for young ears. The police rely on them to keep us safe.
It’s possible that parents have weapons as well. A child should never handle firearms for the same reason they shouldn’t operate a motor vehicle or power tool.
The next step is to have a chat that ends with a few alternative solutions for fixing the current problem.
- To what extent could you assist the dog in any other way?
- What other way is there to stop the robber?
- Which superpowers would you use that wouldn’t harm others physically or emotionally?
- To what extent could you work together to find a solution?
If you want to help your child develop positive social skills, you should keep up the good work of teaching them while respecting their desire to experience independence in their play.
Having the ability to dominate your enemies is an appealing idea. Let’s talk about the non-violent superpowers that we all possess, like the ability to construct something, think creatively, or solve issues.
Many children’s play ideas are restricted to the exact few action figures and cartoons. A play library can incorporate books written for kids. Inspiration for imaginative play exists in classic children’s books and traditional tales.
Encourage your child to develop physical strength and power through activities like construction, jumping, and climbing.
When not to worry
Young kids frequently use the terms “kill” and “hoot” in a non-threatening context. Rough play at an acceptable level is normal and even recommended for children.
A child’s physical, emotional, and social development can all benefit from a healthy dose of play fighting. Fighting games improve creativity and problem-solving skills. Play fighting can be sources of strength.
It can boost one’s ego and encourage communication with others. Through rough play, children can learn valuable lessons about boundaries, communication, and compromise.
Gender biases and culturally determined roles can be broken down through play fighting. Rough play is a great way to get your kids moving and having fun.
Adults tend to view children’s violent play as delinquent behavior. You can learn the cause of the child’s violent behavior through conversation with the child. Teach your kids how to deal with their feelings by modeling it yourself.
Finally, remember that altering someone’s behavior often requires time and patience. You can teach your child to control their aggressive behavior in various contexts, even when you are not present, with time and effort.