Confirming what many guilty parents long suspected, Penny Holland says boys will indulge in gunplay regardless of attempts by schools, nurseries and guardians to stop them.
Holland, who claims boys have fallen victim to politically correct dogma, claims that suppressing their need for boisterous play may be counter-productive.
Holland, senior lecturer in early childhood studies at London Metropolitan University, believes that boys who have been banned from playing at soldiers, pirates, or superheroes, become disruptive and live up to a ’bad boy’ image."
I am reminded of the following story. We were living in a college town California and my son was about four. We had a number of neighbors and their children over (perhaps it was a birthday party, I don’t remember) when I noticed that my son Joe had taken another boy his age by the hand and they walked down the hall toward his bedroom. I thought nothing of it until a few minutes later when I saw the boy’s mother walk toward the bedroom. And then I heard the mother scream. I ran back there as fast as possible, thinking that my son was caught in the midst of practicing cannibalism or something almost as bad. Well, here is what I found. Joe had laid out all of his toy guns on the bed (maybe six or seven) and he was proudly showing them to the boy from next door. He was kindly offering the boy the opportunity to pick one, so they could play. The wide-eyed boy was about to choose when his mother walked in. I asked her what happened, why had she screamed. She said she screamed when she saw the toy guns (she knew they were toys); she said it was the most awful thing she had ever seen. She was horrified. She grabbed her son and went home to her husband, a professor of English at the local state college. Well, I always knew she was wrong, and now modern science is proving me right.