Toying Around: Do toys and aggression really link to violent behavior?

An age old discussion as it relates to toys, games and anything else you buy for your child that is going to, good or bad, elicit some sort of psychological and potentially physical response, is whether or not that toy is appropriate and won’t trigger some sort of violent affect as a result of the purchase.

For the longest time, parents and watchdog groups have argued that certain toys, namely for boys but girls can’t be ignored, either, are essentially bad for kids and by having them ultimately will lead to behavior that borders on anything from too physical to out and out violence toward other kids, siblings, and even adults.

From experts to message boards, the final verdict hardly is unanimous. The truth is it’s about split, with some favoring “no” when asked the question if violent toys lead to violence behavior from children and thus watch those same kids grow up to be equally anger, violent adults.

There are two factors at work in this topic, both polarizing but need to be examined fully to really answer the question with legitimacy and logic in mind.

Parenting and point of view.

The side that argues “no” points to their own childhood being filled with the same kind of toys that are existent today, such as toy guns or fake, plastic bullets. That theory for the other end of the spectrum is flawed given that video games didn’t exist 20 or 30 years ago where you could blow someone away with such realism.

True, to a degree, but that’s when the second aspect hits the ground running.

Parenting really is the make or break deal in this back and forth banter.

Parents argue that modern video games, action figures, toy guns or anything else of that ilk only will go so far when it comes to affecting their kids if mom and dad are their to nip that play time or going to far right in the bud.

You don’t body slam your little sister, you don’t pretend shoot your mom or point a fake gun at someone and “pretend” to shoot. And if those things happen, parents should make it a point to stop, explain and discipline to the point where that behavior is deemed inappropriate and should never happen again.

There’s no exact science on this subject matter. Sadly, you hear stories every day of kids who were perfect as children and then grow up and commit reprehensible acts of violence, thus breaking that so called link that say angry kids grow up to be the same as adults. And how many of you have know rambunctious, aggressive boys and girls who grew up with a subdued, soft temperament?

As parents, all you can do is be present, be on point, and talk to your kids, address behavior that is too much, too soon and be as visible as you can. You can’t predict where kids go from there, but knowing you were there certainly won’t hurt.


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