Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Comments on Comments: Boys and Guns

Welcome to my first day of National Blog Posting Month or NaBloPoMo.

Do you have a blog?  Join me!  All you have to do is post everyday, including weekends, during the month of November.  BlogHer is hosting this year's NaBlogPoMo and there are lots of prizes to be grabbed by daily posters.

Easy, right?
We shall see.
I often use OMML to sort through my thoughts on various issues related to mothering and I never cease to be amazed at the wisdom other mamas share with me through their comments.  On a regular basis, these comments completely shift the way I previously viewed a subject.  I am thankful for the collective wisdom of mamas at different places in this parenting game that can help guide me and steer me when I am going in the opposite direction of where I need to be headed.


Lucinda, I very very very much hope you were not a drive-by reader for my Boys and Guns post.  Your comment completely changed my reaction to Henry's obsession with shooting and make me realize that by outlawing "shooters" I was making them that much more desirable and if I simply come to terms that boys will shoot, life will be better and easier for everyone involved.  Thank you for your wise comment.......and please come back.  I need more comments from you!

Anonymous Lucinda said...

I have an 8 year old son and a 10 year old daughter. My experience is that they are quite different, and some of that is because of gender. My daughter really doesn't care about guns or shooting. My son will turn anything into a shooter and has since he was 3 or so.

We allow nerf guns in the house. We have a whole assortment of them. There are basic rules like you don't pretend to shoot people. We discuss the differences between "toy" guns and real guns which are not toys and can hurt people very badly. My son has never had any trouble understanding the difference. This past year he shot a 22 with his grandpa (without my knowledge) and was deeply struck by the power of this gun. I know he was taught safety and respect for the weapon so even though I hadn't been asked ahead of time, I knew it was a good experience for my son.

Guns are a reality of life. Boys are attracted to them. I asked my son today what it was that he liked about his guns. He said he liked it because it was like tag and target practice and war where one side beats the other. He didn't think about killing anyone. He just liked how he could battle. And that is how boys play. Guns are a part of that whether you give them one or not. So I believe to a certain degree you need to accept and allow the inherent differences between boys and girls and let them express those differences. To fight it leads to frustration for everyone.

For the record, my boy is also the kindest, gentlest soul I know. Far kinder than his sister. But he does love to shoot his nerf gun. Good luck figuring out what works best for your family.


Laurin said...

I wanted to post on your post about guns but I couldn't really get my thoughts together. I like Lucinda's post. I remember the first time Lennox picked up a toy gun at a birthday party. He was 16 months old, had never seen a gun (to my knowledge), he pointed the gun, looked through the sites, and said "poom!" I couldn't believe it. So, I definitely think being attracted to guns and weapons is innate in boys. It is hard for me to understand because I am not a boy... and I relate guns to killing things. At 3 years old, Lennox doesn't understand death or killling but he likes to make shooters and blow things up. It's kind of the same thing as him "wrecking" his cars and getting excited when he hears sirens... he doesn't understand that wrecks hurt people.... he just likes sound effects and crashing things together. So... I don't purchase toy guns but I also don't forbid him from shooting. After I read the other comments on your post, I will make it more of a priority to teach him about gun safety.

The Whatleys said...

That is the perfect way to put it! Little boys are just inherently different and drawn to those sort of things. I will never understand...but I do LOVE my little boys!

Laura @ our messy messy life. said...

Laurin, so true about the sirens and crashing the cars. I think the main issue is that we are girls and they are boys. I just wonder if we will "get" our girls since we are girls?

Amy, they are so sweet! And, I guess it is true that boys are boys...