Apr 14, 2009

The "K" Word

When did your child learn the "kill" word? I don’t want my son to always think he has to destroy things that threaten him, but sooner or later you just have to explain what it means.
Thanks to an older child who visits us, my son thinks killing bad guys is the ultimate goal in most situations. Even if these supposed bad guys are insects or creatures that have their purpose and are good for the earth. I had to enforce a "no computer games" rule when this boy is here because of this.

I have asked him why they are bad and does he know what killing means and he "they are bad just because and when you kill them they are dead".
The "just because" answer tells me he thinks they are bad because they were portrayed that way to him in a story or by another person. Not a very good reason to use that label. He knows the different between alive and dead because we have discussed it several times. I want him to understand that there is good and bad in all things.

Maybe times have changed but I wasn’t prepared to see this desire to pummel things, in a 4 year old boy. His play has become more and more aggressive. Everything jumps on and flattens something else. Things that are built up, get blown up. There hasn’t been a lot of joy in playing with him lately.

This becomes a conflict of interest you realize how many things we "kill" during the course of a day without realizing the violent choice of words. We kill germs every time we wash our hands. We kill bugs if they get out of hand. So I have started trying to use different terms to express myself. I now try to say "eliminate" or "reduced the population of" instead of "kill".

Some may think this is just "boy" behavior but I refuse to believe that aggression is natural for boys. I saw the change in him almost immediately when he started playing videos games, even though the ones he played seemed innocuous at first. I suppose I would have seen these changes even earlier if he was in pre-school, but mommy has had enough already!


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