Is Play-Fighting Okay?

Toddler Purgatory

Feb 21 2023 • 45 mins

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. Links!  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 Special thanks to our sponsors for this month: If you’re looking for self-care that’s quick and easy, Athletic Greens is giving you a FREE 1-year supply of Vitamin D AND 5 free travel packs with your first purchase. Go to  Misfits Market is an affordable online grocery service that makes shopping easy, quick, and fun. Visit to get 50% off your first two orders when you use code LAUGHING50 by February 28, 2023.  Try Peloton Tread Risk-Free with a 30-day home trial. New members only. Not available in remote locations. See additional terms at  Ready, Set, Food! helps prevent food allergies in children. Go to & use code TODPURGS for 15% off your first order.  Ritual’s Essential for Women 18 and up is a multivitamin you can actually trust. Visit for 10% off during your first 3 months. Zocdoc is the only FREE app that lets you find AND book doctors who are patient-reviewed, take your insurance, and are available when you need them. Go to and download the Zocdoc app for FREE. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit