I’m having a hard time with this one. My 3.5 year old son is quite energetic and loves games that involve “shooting the bad guy”. I understand that some degree of aggression would be considered normal, more so for boys than girls, and I want to teach him how to channel that energy constructively. Fortunately he seems to understand that it is not okay to act violently towards people. But how do I engage in pretend play without encouraging violence?
It might help to sit down and engage in that pretend play with him. When you see things taking a violent turn, redirect him and give him other options for how the ‘storyline’ can go that do not involve shooting, etc. Some regular ‘coaching’ like that may help him play more positively when he’s on his own.
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