Are Some Toys Bad for Children?
With technology growing at the pace it is, and globalisation meaning more and more products are available everyday, with adverts convincing our children they want these toys, are there some toys that we simply don’t need or are ‘bad’?
Play is how children learn – it enables them to build skills such as team work, and problem solving. But certain types of toys can be controversial.
Guns and Aggressive Toys
It is perfectly natural for many children to engage in pretend fighting, turning almost any toy into a weapon, even when parents have strived hard to ensure they don’t provide any actual toy weapons such a guns.
There is much controversy about allowing this type of play, but there is research which suggests that children are able to discern the difference between real aggression and play fighting, and in fact allowing fighting games can reinforce this difference. It is also suggested that a child who has been exposed to real life aggression is much more likely to replicate that behaviour than those who are simply playing with peers in this way.
Toys for Girls and Boys
There is a concern that some toys are designed only for girls or boys and that by allowing a boy to play with a ‘girls’ toy they may becoming weak, or a girl playing with a ‘boys’ toy may become too aggressive, for example.
One school of thought is that we are in danger of doing more harm to a child’s sense of self by refusing them the ability to play with a toy they want to “because it’s not meant for you”. By simply allowing them to experience all toys and form their own decisions about whether it’s suitable we give them space to explore their identity. Does allowing a boy to play with dolls really cause an issue, or perhaps it simply allows him to practice skills of caring, that perhaps as an adult and father he will need?
Children and Computer games
Many parents these days worry that their children spend too much time in front of the computer or mobile phone. The range of computer games and mobile apps is vast, and it is difficult to know what is safe for children to play and what is not. Games may seem child-friendly, but a lot of them include violence not suitable for at least the youngest children. Mobile apps can off course be very educational, but parents should probably make sure children stay away from gambling and casino apps.