Toys and child psychology


Some people argue that children who play with instruments of violence, like toy guns, are likely to be indulged in violent activities. Others argue that those who are not allowed to play with such toys are more prone to violence. What do you think? Do you have any experience in this regard? Let's discuss.

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  1. Violence is never the best solution!
    “Others argue that those who are not allowed to play with such toys are more prone to violence.”
    If you have learnt, that violence is never the best solution and that weapons are bad because they boost violence and make it even worse, you learned to communicate with the peoples and react with cooler mind. Then you are not prone to violence because you normally do not provocate a conflict and more rarely come into it. You can even help solving problems by mediating before an argument escalates…
    A cool mind can give you real self-confidence, not a weapon!

  2. Toys and children …. as long as they are toys and children play with them as a phase in their evolutionary lives … should not lead to anything but what they are meant for .. toys to play with!

    I am sure many of us grew up playing with bows and arrows, swords, guns and enacting dramas where we were “Cowboys and Indians” or “Soldiers” or “Roman Gladiators”.

    Did any of us become killers and deviants or gangsters?

    There are many more factors that have a bigger influence on our children, like violent cartoons, drams with abuse and violence, violence in the homes and certainly illiterate parents who cannot explain nor understand the child’s needs and growth.

    I think the things we grow up with make more of an impact when “crime” and “illegal” activities are made the norm is our societies.

    If a child grows up seeing his/her father take bribes, buy things from illegal earnings, live beyond his means and emulate the corrupt society as something to be proud of and aim for .. then one would be naive to believe that the child will grow up morally correct … quite the opposite. Under these circumstances the child would expect that it was his/her right to be corrupt and his/her target would be to attain better ways and means to perfect this “art form”.

    Our children are what we teach them … or not!


  4. Playing with toy guns may leave a blueprint on kids mind. Exposing kids to toy guns may lead to a violent behavior. Even I would not like to show the picture which you have put on website.

  5. One can not ignore the fact that toys are an important part of a child’s life and it is through play that children learn about themselves and their surroundings. Many educators and researchers believe that there is a positive correlation between excessive use of violence toys and children’s exhibited aggressive behaviors. For example, in a study on the relation between toy gun play and children’s aggressive behavior, Watson and Peng (1992) found that toy gun play was one predictor of observed aggression in day care. However, a toy that represents violent behavior is not the only cause of imitative violence. If aggressive (there is always potential for aggression) feeling are not mobilized, the toy will not be used to express (symbolically or in actuality) aggression. It is the inter-subjective dynamics which surround the acting out of aggression in violent behavior. Thus, it is imperative that we take into consideration the inter-subjective dynamics like love and hate or in a more specified form appreciation and suppression etc. A common way out (simplistic though) is providing children with toys and playthings that are fun and intellectually challenging, and that foster growth-promoting values.

  6. Children don’t need realistic toys to play. Poor children have had a lot of fun straddling broomsticks and running around pretending they were riding on a horseback, and using mere sticks to pretend they are firing a gun at an enemy. Toys should stimulate a child’s imagination and realistic toys do the opposite.
    As for violence and agression, children should be provided with a safe, civilized outlet for their agression. Team sports are a good way though they may foster a spirit of competition where a spirit of cooperation is more desirable. Athleticism, or any activity requiring physical exertion (dancing, swimming etc.) might be preferable.
    Another safe way of channelling aggression is by teaching a child how to use cutting tools and taking all precautions to make sure he or she is using them safely. In this way the need to cut, stab, pierce, is channelled towards a useful or artistic activity, for instance wood carving for sculpture or for making print stamps etc. or cutting and sewing fabric for making clothes. After such activity the nervous energy and anxiety are spent and the person feels more calm and sociable. The reward of creating beauty is a source of pride and fulfills the deep needs of a person for a meaningful life.

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