Our precious little boy pointed a stick at his mother, pretending to jab it into her stomach. “I’m Captain Hook!” he yelled. “I’m a bad pirate! I’m going to kill you!”
Not exactly the type of fantasy we wanted to encourage. It was great that he had an active imagination, but we couldn’t help but think there were better things for a little boy to dream of than matricide. Couldn’t he, we asked, play like he was Peter Pan instead?
“No!” he said. “I’m mean! I like to steal!”
It’s disturbing seeing your little angel fantasize about being a supervillain – but it’s a lot more common than you might realize. Our boy, in particular, gets behind the villain every time. He wanted Jafar to beat Aladdin. He cheered for Dr. Claw on Inspector Gadget. I mean, this is the boy who, when we watched “The Prince of Egypt”, actively rooted for slavery.
Why does this happen? Just a couple years ago, my son dreamed of being Daniel Tiger and helping mom clean up. When did my innocent boy start wanting to be a bad guy?
According to psychologists, it’s not that uncommon. As troubling as all this feels, this isn’t an early warning sign of a future serial killer, and it doesn’t mean your child has been corrupted. A lot of children – especially boys – root for the bad guys.
It’s actually serving a purpose.