What Were You Thinking?!?

I have this inner struggle going on right now.  I’m not sure how to deal with it.  So here it is.

I have a six-year old son.  A sweet, kind, thoughtful, cuddles-with-his-mama, giggles-with-his-daddy kind of son.  I couldn’t love him more!  But he’s a boy.  A fun-loving, adventurous, playful boy.  And I find myself facing those “mama -takes-the-fun-out-of-everything” type of questions that I sooo love.  Right now, the question of the hour is, are toy guns acceptable?  If so, what is acceptable play with those guns?  And how do I step in when the toys are from other kids?

Currently, the only “guns” that my son owns are a couple of very cheap water guns and a foam dart gun.  Nothing to fuss about.  But, as he is having more opportunities to be social, he has been involved in games involving toy guns with other kids.  We’re not talking about anything sinister here.  These are all sweet, good kids who are just playing cops & robbers type games.  But I find myself feeling uncomfortable when I see him holding a realistic-looking toy gun and running after other kids with it.  So, where’s the line?  When do I allow him to just be a little boy and when do I fight the battle.  Is there any harm in playing with toy guns? 

Weigh in, people.  Let me know your thoughts.

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About Sarah

I love being wife to my sweetie, mama and teacher to my three wonderful children, and friend to people near and far. I love to express myself through words. I blog to connect with others and so that someday, hopefully, my kiddos will understand who their mama was...way back when.
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5 Responses to What Were You Thinking?!?

  1. Hutch says:

    Seeing as he is a boy, he will make anything into a gun. He will find a stick in the woods and it will become either a sword or a gun. So, he will play with guns. I’m not sure you can stop that and I’m not sure you should.

    But your question is valid… what sort of play with what sort of gun? Perhaps the biggest key for me (and take this from a man with no sons, so it is what it is) is how close to reality is he making it. If he can recognize cognitively that this is not reality, game on. If he gets swept up in the moment and has a hard time seeing the difference between play and reality, then perhaps not as much. Another practical angle… how realistic looking is the gun? With my boys (should they ever come), I will letting them play with the cartoony, fake looking guns. We will not be playing with the replica of the M-16. If they want to be shooting a machine gun, then they can turn their plastic orange gun into one in their minds.

  2. Mama D says:

    This seems to be a question for the ages. However, as with so many things we encounter, we need to add a touch of grace into the mix. I know that Jonah & his Dad play with their Light Sabres…same theory, different manifistation. Your brother was in the military, Jonah will know that. Uncle Brett hunts, same instrument, different use. Don’t remember if your dad hunts with Stephen…it is not so much the gun itself, but the intent they perceive. You and Scott teach both Jonah & Abby to rest in the knowledge that they are God’s children…we love others the way God loves us. As Hutch said, he’s a boy…..Scott was a boy, they played in the mountains for hours with pretend guns. If you forbid, he will learn to sneak around or give in to peer pressure and try to keep that information from you. I KNOW you will watch and guide … you will talk about how it makes him feel when he pretend shoots someone and they fall down. He will come to the conclusion on his own that this isn’t something he really thinks he should do. Would it be wrong to set up a target at our house, your folks house and shoot at bulls-eyes with his cousins? You will ground him in God’s truth that ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’, and rest in the promise that we ‘bring up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it. ” Little boys will play with guns or light sabres or magical wands…Jonah is a sweet spirit, and you are great parents…God will direct you and Scott and Jonah. Sorry, this has been a mini-sermon hasn’t it! Love you guys! ds

  3. dunno….. when i was a teen, we had beebee guns… and i got spanked with a boat paddle for shooting at my friend. sigh. so i learned that lesson the hard way!
    jonah’s too nice to shoot anybody, though but he might go after a squirrel or chipmunk!
    🙂

  4. Mom says:

    I agree with Mama D wholeheartedly with maybe the addition that your three brothers were raised with guns, toy and real, but were NEVER allowed to point them at people. We can point toy guns at anything else, but never people. It worked well for us – they grew up respecting guns and the play instilled in them the automatic awareness of where the gun is pointing at all times. May God continue to bless you with much parental wisdom! Love you all –

  5. titus2woman says:

    First, you have a really wonderful blog! We have three boys, and I tell you if I had never allowed them to have a toy gun they would have turned their finger into a “shooter”. BOYS! LOL! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

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