This has been a topic that has started to come up at lot lately. Atticus is starting to develop his imagination and it’s a lot of fun watching him pretend to vacuum the living room, water the plants, and use his dump truck to move sand around his sandbox.
All of those above things he’s seen us do so it isn’t shocking that he imitates us. But there is one part of his imaginative play that has us totally baffled. GUNS! The past few days he turns everything into a gun.
This might not seem like an oddity, but to us it is. Yes, we are a military family, but we down own firearms and I won’t allow them in my house. He’s never seen either of us shoot a gun, much less hold one. We don’t allow him to watch violence on TV and we don’t have books or photos of them either. I highly doubt he sees things like this at school.
It started off with him pointing sticks at us, Henry, objects, etc and saying “POW” but jerking it upwards. Then it progressed to holding his wooden sushi cleaver backwards and doing the same thing. Of course, I redirected him to use it to “cut” his sushi. The most shocking happened two days ago when digging through a box in the garage. He found two spray nozzles for the hose. The ones that I haven’t seen in over a year. Immediately held them both up like a cowboy and made machine gun sounds while running around pointing them at things. He’s never seen a spray nozzle used. They could totally be a toy for the sandbox, for all he knows.
So where did this come from? If we weren’t teaching him or showing him this type of play, it must be natural for him. Does this mean that little boys and girls were pretending things were guns before they were even invented? Or is it that he’s just playing innocently and we are labeling it as “gun play?”
What’s funny is that I know I’m not alone in asking this question. I remember hearing a mom ask the same question years ago. She was baffled that her son had used Legos to fashion a toy gun and was “shooting” people. She highly doubted that Elmo and Big Bird were teaching him how to make and shoot guns.
It’s all a very interesting concept. Do you believe that some things just come naturally for a kid while others are “nurtured in?”