Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Little boys and weapons

"My house will never have toy guns inside."

"My kids won't play war games."

"My kids will (in a nod to their being male) only use swords and bows/arrows to, um, kill things. But only animals."

My kids just turned their scabbards into automatic weapons.


I think I need to figure out a workable philosophy on this one. I'm interested in what others have chosen to do. Leave a comment?


Amber said...

Well, personally we don't worry about it too much. The only guns we buy are water guns, but that's about the only limit we place on it. If they want to pretend sticks are guns and shoot each other I don't intercede. I am mainly concerned about keeping them from whacking each other with said sticks!

We don't watch much of anything so there is very little glamorization of violence in what they have exposure to... so it isn't something that happens all that often. I'd rather just let it happen when it does and let it blow over quickly, as it usually does. If someone gets annoyed because someone didn't die when they were supposed to, I just point out that it is all pretend anyway and you can't make someone pretend what you want to pretend and it just gets shrugged off. It just isn't something I choose to make a big deal out of, and really there isn't all that much gun play going on around here. It comes and goes, but never lasts very long.

Anonymous said...

Hey Emily,

Remember, the good guys have to protect us from the bad guys. Teach your boys to be good guys.

Whether they play with guns or not borders on irrelevant. In the pursuit of the good and protecting the innocent they'll do what they gotta do with whatever they have at their disposal.

All good guys do.

Pax, Greg

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Hey Greg, thanks for the comment. I like that idea and I've been leaning that way...but what do you do when it is the BAD guys (like Darth Vader) who are so very cool to little boys?

Ma Torg said...

It seems to me that there can be two approaches: 1) Make rules and limit the play or 2) Not make rules, but talk about the play sometimes. Maybe talk sometime about what it means to be a good guy or a bad guy. Why is it fun to play the bad guys? Would you really want to be a bad guy in real life?

I prefer the latter approach because I think imaginative role play is very theraputic for children (as well as just plain fun). And as long as the play is not harmful, that is.

Anonymous said...


As much as we'd like "bright lines" between good and bad, the training takes time (maybe a lifetime for us boys :> !). Plus there's the allure of the good-bad boys (or is it the other way around?)---The Dirty Harry's in us all (sorry, I'm a product of the 70s). But all that cruelty (along with burning bugs with our magnifying glasses, etc.) eventually gives way--if goodness, mercy, and compassion have been modeled for us by our community--to the will-to-good. But it is a 'will.'

To mix metaphors, it takes time, for example, to learn how to serve the poor. Do we just hand out money to someone who may use it for ill purposes? When learning, and beginning to experience compassion, indeed, we might. But eventually, we learn to do the best we can so that the poor are well served.

Same with being a good defender of the weak. There will always be the allure and tug of 'being a bad boy' (we all have it), but through renewing of the mind & heart, and the spiritual disciplines, we strive to say No to all that is bad, and to say a resounding Yes to all that is honorable, protective, and redemptive, thereby demonstrating to the world the incarnate love of a loving God, only good.

Pax, Greg (ps, hope you feel better)