My 6-year-old keeps pretending he has a gun at school. We just got a second note from the school that our son was pretending to play with a gun (made out of paper) at school and scaring other children. The first note was several months ago.
On the one hand, I feel like this is normal play for a child, but on the other, I agree with the school that he should not be scaring other children. I am not sure how to address this behavior so that he does not have any further problems at school.
Hello, and thank you for your question. You're correct about gun play being normal, especially for little boys. You're also correct that he shouldn't be scaring other children (although I question the validity of that assessment).
He's 6, so he's perfectly capable of understanding the rules at school. Make this his problem to solve. Tell him that you've spoken with his teacher and his doctor, and they both agree that smart 6-year-old boys who can't remember the rules at school aren't getting enough sleep! Therefore, he will be going to bed directly after dinner for the next 10 school nights. If there are no more incidents at school for 10 consecutive days, he will earn his regular bedtime back. However, the 10 days will begin again if you learn that he forgot the rules.
This should be enough to make him remember what not to do at school. The key is putting the problem on his shoulders. Please write again if he doesn't curtail his firearm interests and we can recommend a more memorable consequence.
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