Feb. 21, 2023

Is Play-Fighting Okay?

Is Play-Fighting Okay?

What do we do when we see our kids shooting each other with fake guns and slicing each other with fake swords? Violence in play is normal– but here's how to know when it's time to intervene.

This just in: violence in play is normal behavior. But today parents tend to take it more seriously. Here's why it's natural for kids to incorporate play-fighting with guns and swords into their games– and when to let it go versus intervene.

If something doesn't sit right with you, it's good to check in with kids about it later – but remember that kids use play as a way of processing the world.


Virginia Sole-Smith for Parents Magazine: "Should Parents Be Concerned About Violent Play?"

Dan Shapiro for CHADD: "Children and Violent Behavior: Where it Comes From and What to Do"

Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys by Dan Kindlon, Ph.D. & Michael Thompson, Ph.D.

Under Deadman's Skin: Discovering the Meaning of Children's Violent Play by Jane Katch

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