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Old 07-23-2009, 06:32 PM
Location: Bend
49 posts, read 190,306 times
Reputation: 35


My 7 year old has me concerned. During his independent play time (dramatic play time) he plays with his toys (legos, dinosaurs, bionicles, etc.) in a very "villain" oriented way. It's like he'd obsessed with "bad guys." He uses words like "evil" a LOT. He plays with his little toys using creepy voices that his says are "scary voices" or "evil voices" for the "bad guys."

Also, when we're reading stories to him, he always wants to read the "bad guys'" lines using his "evil/scary" voice.

I try to play with him often and model kind, friendly play with his bionicles and dinosaurs and so on, but he's not interested in "mommy's way of playing."

Should I take away his toys like bionicles? How should I handle this? He doesn't have any close friends and I'm worried that this odd behavior will repel friends and concern his teachers come fall (our family is moving to a new town and I want him to be able to make friends without these new friends' parents thinking his behavior is troubling.)

Also, at a playground today, he went up to another child and his mother and while spinning around, he said, "I'm an evil tornado... I love everything that's evil." And he said this using his "scary voice." I calmly took him aside and I told him that talking about evil things like that could scare that child and mother. He calmly said "ok mommy" and dashed over to swing.

Am I simply over-reacting? I'd love to hear from parents who can offer gentle advice regarding this situation. Thank you.

Last edited by UpNorth; 07-23-2009 at 06:51 PM.. Reason: adding
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:50 PM
Location: SATX
305 posts, read 1,125,248 times
Reputation: 232
You are totally over reacting. This is typical boy behavior. I have 2 boys and they like to play make-believe games, and yes the bad guys are more interesting. This doesn't mean your child is bad or wants to be bad, it is fantasy. Many boys display naturally aggressive behavior, and this is actually a positive way of them doing it (through pretend play, not hurting others). It is great that your child has an imagination, you should be happy for that, now if he starts wanting to hurt anyone or anything that is a different story. Much of what he is modeling is being picked up on tv including most of the superhero cartoons and movies that are popular nowadays.

As far as not having friends, I can understand how you could be concerned. My DS #1 was very much a loner and it made me concerned. Some kids are destined to not be as social and that is okay (we can't all be popular). I did encourage my son to try to make friends, and he has made a few, but he is already in 5th grade and has been with the same kids for 3 years now. There may be some little boys that do not behave this way, but both of mine do, and I have been relieved to know that they are so imaginative and do not demand every toy that comes out because they are happy to just make-believe. It is difficult feeling like your son doesn't have (or won't have) any friends, but you shouldn't let this refelct upon him. You need to love him for who he is (even if the behavior is not the status quo).

Don't take away his toys, he will be very unhappy with you, and it's simply not necessary. Let him be a boy.
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:57 PM
Location: Deep in the heart of Texas
1,917 posts, read 6,304,019 times
Reputation: 1957
Nothing to be concerned about. Same here! But is he a sweet loving boy to you and the family otherwise?? If so, then let him be a kid. I used to be like that, read nothing but Stephen King novels, watched horror films all the time, dressed in black. Turned out to be fine. And I'm a girl
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:17 PM
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,107 posts, read 39,170,046 times
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What's "independent play time"? Please don't say that you're scheduling the "type" of play.

He's a boy, villains are cool.

What does dad say?

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Old 07-23-2009, 07:38 PM
11,614 posts, read 19,711,659 times
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He's a boy. Boys like violent stuff. My boys are older and they like the Titans more than the Gods.
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:02 PM
3,566 posts, read 4,490,175 times
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So, does my kid and he is almost 8. So, I asked my son, just now, "Why, son, why?"

Per child, "Cause they are cool. They make all kinds of faces." As opposed to the good guys who are pretty one dimensional.

I think its cool. To top it off, I think my kid might just have a really real good chance of recognizing that things are not just black and white. There is a real big gray area sometimes.
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:37 PM
2,542 posts, read 5,820,256 times
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Going through somewhat similar situation here. I am a girl and I grew up with all girls... We raised our son for the first five years with nonviolence in mind, a focus on creativity and learning, yadda, yadda, yadda. He must be getting a kick of testerone or something because he seems to have a need to tackle all the time and bombs, dynomite and overall destruction are cool.

I really don't know what to do, but it does seem to be normal... I'm trying walk the line between letting him think I am totally okay with it but not making him think there is something bad about him for thinking/acting that way.
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:18 AM
3,422 posts, read 9,434,532 times
Reputation: 1957
Oh yeah, normal. I think for some boys too this kind of play helps them work on any fears they have of the bad guys by taking it down to their level.

Boys, in particular, really seem to love the good vs. evil archetype stories (though there are plenty of girls and women who enjoy them as well) : Star Wars (sith vs. jedi), Harry Potter (Dark Lord vs. good wizards), etc...

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Old 07-24-2009, 07:53 AM
Location: Texas
8,668 posts, read 19,914,691 times
Reputation: 21277
Yeah, I agree with the other posters. This just sounds like typical boy stuff. I remember one time my little boy when he was about 6 looking at me rather plaintively and saying that he had to pretend his "good" action figures were the villains cuz I wouldn't buy him any of the "bad" guys!

Incidentally, he grew up to be a very compassionate, non violent person. As others have said, this is just what boys like.
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:14 AM
1,156 posts, read 3,229,339 times
Reputation: 485
Another mom of boys letting you know this is to be expected. I remember making an effort to keep all toy guns out of the house, and then my sweet little 4 year old built a gun with legos. WHY DO THEY DO THIS???????? But as others have posted the hero/villain storlyline is very compelling stuff.

Incidentally, a friend was telling me in every culture boys play act with whatever representation of their local weapon they can find. Sort of a deeply rooted survival-skill seeking drive?
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