Friday, August 31, 2007

Toy guns and Swords

I'm really loving homeschooling my 4 and 13 yo sons. We started our history unit in the Medieval Period and naturally the boys took to the idea of using swords in their playtime together.

We established some ground rules and gave them noodles cut in half. They have a cross between medieval battles and some sort of Asian maritial art dual complete with courtesy bowing and round -house kicks.

Boys will truly be boys. I love to see my kids enjoying each other's company and having good natured fun. It was what my 13 yo asked me next that I wasn't sure I was ready for.

They now wanted to play with a cap gun that was given to my 13yo by a relative. I took a deep breath and realized their morning had already been full of experiments. They had frozen water balloons and melted them with various ideas that came to their mind. They had used their computer time to team up to beat the enemy. Now, they wanted to play with the cap gun outside.

My first reaction was, " No! we don't play with guns. They hurt people." Like swords don't hurt. Boy did I feel the big hypocrite veil coming down across my face.

I agreed to let them play after laying down the rules for their play. They understood and off they went... never out of my critiquing sight. They each very methodically following the rules shot a couple of rounds of caps and then it was over. Yes, that was it. The whole experience of their play took less time then it took for me to decide to let them play with the cap gun and give them the rules. Wow!

Being somewhat experienced in these parenting thing, I truly believe that if I had taken a different course in letting them explore this natural boyish activity their interest for the forbidden could have taken a whole different path.

Do I believe that I have allowed an evil and desensitized them to the dangers of guns? No way. As a parent, it is my duty to daily train then in all areas of life and this was one lesson on one day. It was also a day of fun for two brothers ages 13 and 4 who also learned how to play together using courtesies, respect and lots of TLC toward each other.


Halfmoon Girl said...

Hi there, I found you through Christian Women online. You have a beautiful blog. I have 4 children, ages 11 down to 2. I was very politically correct when it came to war toys at first, but now have softened my resolve to never allow my boys to play with guns. Even when i banned them, they just found sticks and used them! I think it is in their genes! We still have a few guidelines though that they know they must follow.

Cynthia said...

Hey, thanks for taking time to participate in the survey. We are on the same page with this thought.

Yes, it's so funny how they are wired. All of a sudden Legos become super lasers and Lincoln logs become Medieval beams to catapult a uneaten sweetpea on a target. Their imaginations are incredible.

I love your blog too!!!


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