guns n’ boys n’ stuff.

what exactly does “boys will be boys” mean?
does it mean that boys have an innate tendency towards violence? because, that saying is often heard after someone sees boys playing roughly, mischievously or violently. nobody ever says the same about girls.

dear hubby and i have a rule about certain toys not being welcome in our home, basically guns and swords. guns scare me, a lot, and i don’t think they are an appropriate toy for my boys to play with. from all of the reading we did on this, and there is TONS of stuff out there, our decision was a natural extension of our (parenting) values. we are pacifists, our kids don’t have water guns and don’t wear anything camo; both are very conscious choices we have made for our children. My sister allows her children to use a bb gun (only when supervised), with the best shoulder holsters reviewed to help her kids understand how to handle guns safely, be it bb guns or live rounds. Her kids are a lot older than mine and I can see her point of view that it’s useful to have a bb gun for protection. We are not against pretend games or imaginative play where violence is a major player.

kids, including our boys, want to push boundaries, feel powerful, and yearn to discover their own world view, and if violence is a part of that play and exploration, i think that’s ok.

violence is every where around us. i grew up watching various BBC nature shows with david attenborough. remember those from the 80’s? he taught me that the natural world is full of violence, killing, torture and survival; good guys against the bad guys; the hunter versus the hunted. exploring one’s place in all of this is expected. right?

but, and this is a big but…
war, is not a game. it is something so awful, i don’t want my kids to ever even imagine being involved in one. guns were created with one intention in mind: to kill. that is their only purpose and that’s why we don’t allow anything resembling one in our house or in our play.

i do struggle with where to draw the line. how much violence is too much? are fingers pointed like guns and aimed at others ok, well, i’m not sure. and, how much “rough housing” should i tolerate before calling it quits?

stuff to read on this, HERE and HERE.

where do you draw the line with your kids of any gender?

[ the pictures are from our hot day at the beach today. the kids built this interesting piece of architecture with the help of some older kids they befriended. such a fun day! we’re all tired from the sun! and to end the day on a high note, lion pooped in the potty for the first time, completely on his own initially. we did have to encourage him finish the task once he had started! ]

xo, mama lola
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  1. Stef Mendoza says

    I think about kids and violent ‘play’ a lot.
    The kids at school know that they are not allowed to pretend to have a weapon of any sort. But somehow lego structures often turn into gun shapes. The kids get quite creative, assuring me it ‘sprays goodness’ or something benevolent. I also insist the ‘bubble shooter’ or whatever, makes a new sound, has a different shape and of course that it’s not used to pretend to hurt or scare anyone. And STILL me makes me cringe.

    I know that Rob and many kids of yesteryear played all sorts of violent games – his favourite toys were (are?) little plastic soldiers. He was/is a super peaceful guy and a major war history buff. But I can’t imagine allowing Elsa to play with toy soldiers!
    I think a lot of it has to do with unsupervised play (which I think is good). I imagine it is the same with your children – you could ‘allow’ a certain amount of rough house when it’s out of your sight/ear – but once you see it, it feels strange to allow the violent play continue?
    I’m blabbing.

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