Young Children, and toy guns?? what's a parent to do??

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posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 05:11 AM
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From the outset let me state that I grew up as a child with toy guns, I played "Cowboys and Indians", cops and robbers etc. when I was older I joined a military youth organization in the UK, where I was taught how to handle not just guns but real weapons, quickly and efficiently with military precision.

Now I am a a father I am torn by the decision as to whether allow my son to play with toy guns also. My initial reaction is not to allow it.

My reasoning for this, is due to the level of violence going on in the world, not just the on going wars, but the level of street violence. I grew up in a place where gun violence was unheard of, or at least very very rare. Now however we live in a place that is awash with guns, Due to the level of access to these weapons that may arise in the future, I do not wish my son to grow up thinking and believing that these weapons are simply toys.

I was shocked the other day, when copying, as kids do, he is playing with a foam sword. (again I am aware this is a weapon) he come to me and make a cutting motion across mt throat and say "I killed you, I cut your throat!"

I am pretty sure I never said anything like this at the age of four. and I have to wonder just where the hell this is coming from?

I am also aware that acting in an over protective manner is not healthy either. But this situation is getting to the point where I feel I need to start educating him to the realities of these "toys" however I do not want to traumatize him either. It is simply at the stage where guns are cool, and his little friends are playing with them. and I wonder whether to simply let him get on with it. or try an eliminate the influence as much as possible.

When he is older, I will teach him myself to to handle them, for the right reasons, to have respect for them, but as of how, he cannot understand such concepts. or can he??

Would appreciate member thoughts on this matter.

Cheers

JF




posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 05:19 AM
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reply to post by JakiusFogg
 


If you played with guns as a child and managed not to grow up into a nutter, why would you think your lad would be any different?

It's easy to read too much into a kid's play time.
They're just learning, exploring. Cutting off an avenue of expression may stunt their development in some way.
I'd say give him guns and toy soldiers if that's what he wants, at least then he won't get left behind in a few years when he plays COD 22 on your vr console.



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 05:21 AM
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Originally posted by JakiusFogg
From the outset let me state that I grew up as a child with toy guns, I played "Cowboys and Indians", cops and robbers etc. when I was older I joined a military youth organization in the UK, where I was taught how to handle not just guns but real weapons, quickly and efficiently with military precision.

Now I am a a father I am torn by the decision as to whether allow my son to play with toy guns also. My initial reaction is not to allow it.

My reasoning for this, is due to the level of violence going on in the world, not just the on going wars, but the level of street violence. I grew up in a place where gun violence was unheard of, or at least very very rare. Now however we live in a place that is awash with guns, Due to the level of access to these weapons that may arise in the future, I do not wish my son to grow up thinking and believing that these weapons are simply toys.

I was shocked the other day, when copying, as kids do, he is playing with a foam sword. (again I am aware this is a weapon) he come to me and make a cutting motion across mt throat and say "I killed you, I cut your throat!"

I am pretty sure I never said anything like this at the age of four. and I have to wonder just where the hell this is coming from?

I am also aware that acting in an over protective manner is not healthy either. But this situation is getting to the point where I feel I need to start educating him to the realities of these "toys" however I do not want to traumatize him either. It is simply at the stage where guns are cool, and his little friends are playing with them. and I wonder whether to simply let him get on with it. or try an eliminate the influence as much as possible.

When he is older, I will teach him myself to to handle them, for the right reasons, to have respect for them, but as of how, he cannot understand such concepts. or can he??

Would appreciate member thoughts on this matter.

Cheers

JF


Now, I can't speak from experience (no kids myself), but I really would advocate not explicitly forbidding your child from playing with toy weapons. The best way to do it is to have a stern, responsible discussion with him about weapons and violent play. Make it clear that, while pretend, the kind of behavior he's exhibiting is something that is to be taken seriously.

After all, most of us had pretty violent games as kids, but turn out okay. Today's games are more violent than ever, and probably won't change. Parenting your kids and teaching them what's right and wrong is the best way to go in these manners.

Feel free not to take my advice, I'm only 23 and have no real idea what I'm talking about, but its just my opinion, and likely how I'll be raising my own kid.

Luck mate,

- H



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 05:22 AM
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reply to post by JakiusFogg
 


Education is where it starts!

So, I say good on you and stick to your guns so to say and don't allow your child to play with toy guns


At the end of the day we need to educate our children to understand that weapons and war of any kind can not and will not create or keep peace!

This is a serious issue we need to tackle now regarding the social acceptance of weapons and war and educating your children your self is the 1st step into ending tyranny!!
edit on 14-4-2012 by zerozero00 because: to add more



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 05:24 AM
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reply to post by JakiusFogg
 


You can keep toy guns from your child all you want, a nicely shaped stick, metal pole, etc will make a great gun toy. I remember as a kid, we had a piece left over from a broken swing set that made a great rocket launcher or bazooka... sometime we mounted it on a wooden electric wire spool we found and made a cannon.

Point it... it is not the toy but exposure to other peoples and ideas and movies and cartoons that will shape your child's use of guns and weapons. One day, your child may see BraveHeart at a friend's house and come home with a blue face swinging a yard stick like a broad sword.

It is really harmless when balanced with a reality check on how guns/ weapons can kill people and are tools to be respected.... not feared bt respected. Maybe a volunteer day at a veteran's home will bring the point home when he/she is older.

Most people I know played with toy guns as children. My dad played with sticks since they were terribly poor, but still managed "cowboys and indians"... and they all turned out responsible citizens with careers, families of their own, participants and pillars of society...no need to worry. Just help them to maintain a real and responsible perspective.



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 05:25 AM
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reply to post by SprocketUK
 


As I said, I agree, however growing up the in the UK, is very different to growing up in central Mexico!. PLus I had the disapline and training of the AFC, in an environment where such things were rare. Now I just have the feeling that the influences of violence are too strong and too often.



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 05:27 AM
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reply to post by Holodomor
 


Thats actually a good position. My stance so far as far as these type of toys is concerned has been more towards the bow and arrow, or toy swords. Thing that require skill and dexterity to use properly. not just being able to move your index finger and go BANG your dead!



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 05:29 AM
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Despite i'm a big fan of violent video games and first person shooters, i never understood why there are 'toy guns' for kids. Why should kids play with something like that? Why did you buy your kid toy weapons in the first place? Especially when you're now so concerned?
Why not give him more peaceful toys, there are enough out there?
Personally, i would rather see my kid play football (soccer) or any other sport, capture the flag without weapons...heck, i'd rather sit him in front of the pc, let him play some educational games where he learns something, than let him run around with a plastic sword or pistol pretending he kills his friends, parents or strangers. It's stupid.


Originally posted by JakiusFogg
My reasoning for this, is due to the level of violence going on in the world, not just the on going wars, but the level of street violence. I grew up in a place where gun violence was unheard of, or at least very very rare.


There's no difference between then and now in terms of violence, it has always been around. You just get more information about it today then back then when either nobody talked about and there was no internet and hundreds of news shows


Originally posted by JakiusFogg
I was shocked the other day, when copying, as kids do, he is playing with a foam sword. (again I am aware this is a weapon) he come to me and make a cutting motion across mt throat and say "I killed you, I cut your throat!"


I'm pretty sure, when you played this stuff as kid, you said things like 'bang, bang you're dead' or 'i shot you in the head' and others. Kids say things like that without really thinking about what it means. He's four year old, give him a break. He probably picked that line up from another kid who was equally clueless about it.


Originally posted by JakiusFogg
It is simply at the stage where guns are cool, and his little friends are playing with them. and I wonder whether to simply let him get on with it. or try an eliminate the influence as much as possible.


Well, your parents let you play with toy guns and it seems you didn't turn into a crazy bankrobber or mass murderer, so i guess nothing bad will happen. Either take away his toy weapons and try to explain why or let him play with it but teach him right from wrong and the difference between real weapons and his toys



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 05:31 AM
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reply to post by ShadowAngel85
 





Why did you buy your kid toy weapons in the first place? Especially when you're now so concerned?


I haven't. THe situation arose, because his Grandmother promised to buy him a cowboy gunbelt, complete with six shooters. And it ran counter to my standing rule. No toy guns. When my wife found out about this, she spoke with her mum to ask her why she promised this, as we had this rule. this of course upset my son, becuase he now can;t have his new toy. But it got me thinking on the whole situation.



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 05:41 AM
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I have never allowed my son to play with toy guns nor to own one, and he cannot play violent video games nor watch violence on tv. He is nine. OP, there is no place for violence. Children mimic what they watch, their beliefs are influenced by their environment, and it's up to you as a parent to instill values that you consider morally right.
I believe that we are fully under the control of media which is socially engineering our children to rebel, to disrespect authority and to further the destruction of society. As a parent, I take the view that it is my responsibility to guide my child with the moral's as set out by God in scripture. You have your own views, so stick with that voice you are following that is telling you to steer your child in a different direction.

I learned how to handle a real gun as a child from my family who were farmers. This is far different than mind-numbing daily violence that is drilled into young minds on a daily basis in all forms of media. Good luck in a world that will try to fast convince you that your choice of withholding play guns from your child will somehow stunt his growth.....



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 05:42 AM
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When I was a kid, we re-enacted the Civil War, the American Revolution, pretended we were John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, played WWII... we built forts and bunkers, used dirt clods as grenades, played with plastic M-16s, tommy guns, GI Joes, etc.

When we turned 10... we got BB Guns and a stern talking to by our parents about safety and responsibility.

When we turned 12 we got a .22 rifle.. a real rifle... and went squirrel and rabbit hunting and target shhoting.

When we became adults... we bought our own rifles and guns... between my brother and myself we have about 25-30 firearms.

We have never been arrested...never had a run in with the law concerning violence... may a speeding ticket as wild teens emulating Burt Reynolds and Smokey and the Bandit.

We now have families, careers, lands, homes, my daughter is an Honors studfent and will graduate with 2 degrees this fall... and she owns a couple of fire arms herself.

Point is... playing with toy guns does not make you a degenerate, violent, hoodlum, thug.

I played with them to pretend I was one of my heroes... men of respect, integrity, honor, of ideals, knew right from wrong... and sometimes you have to fight for those ideals... just like in the Alamo, BraveHeart, Gettysburg, The Magnificent Seven, Tombstone...etc.

And as things continue to go the wrong way, will we stand by and hold our hands and turn away... or will we be like those Minute Men from our historic past and fight tyrrany?

OK...I'll stop now before I get to preachin'



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 05:45 AM
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Let your child have a childhood.

I remember reading that one of the royal Princes threatened to cut off a Guards head when he was King.

Children grow out of these things.

Remember this, the nutters want to lock your child up in cotton wool. He will become a cotton wool Adult. Never able to stand up for himself.

Teach your child the skills he needs to survive. Teach what our species dictates. AND teach compassion and humanity. Teach ALL not just some parts. Teach martial arts. Teach weapons. Moderate with responsibilities.

Our societies are all about rights and we are losing responsibilities. That is how the we got the leaders we have. Now more than ever we will need survival skills.

P



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 05:47 AM
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As a child i played with toy Guns, Tanks, Grenades Aeroplane's and i think even a fake flamethrower that shot water. Im not a mad gun nut and have had no adverse affects what so ever(I do still play a hell of a lot of FPS games i suppose). This is political correctness gone mad. Kind of like the same reason the dafftys banned Golliwog's. Look at it this way, if you give the little lad Barbies to play with instead will he grow up to be a bum boy? The answer is No! Give your little lad a life and dont believe everything you here!
edit on 14-4-2012 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)
edit on 14-4-2012 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)
edit on 14-4-2012 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 05:55 AM
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OP My situation is very much the same as yours as a kid growing up in the UK I played with toy guns. If I didnt have a toy gun it would be a stick or a piece of metal or a cricket bat that took the place and became a gun made for shooting my mates who were Red Indians or Germans to my cowboy or soldier. then everyone qcame back to life and went home when mum called us in for tea.

Like you I joined the military and got to play with real guns and loved it. However I never fireed a weapon in anger
And if the truth be known never really wanted to. My parents taught me about the sanctity of life. Which it sounds like you are doing with your lad.

As for the saying I killed you, all kids do that, its just a natural part of growing up. As he ages and becomes more aware of mortality in both others and himself. Right now he dosnt understand death and its meaning.

The real villain in my opinion are the violent video games being played by kids who shouldnt have them. My sister in law lets her 9 year old play COD, and other games that are totally unsuitable for kids of that age much to my disgust Although no fan of censorship i think it is about time that something was done about the parents that let their kids play these games. They have age ceritification for a reason. Too many parents give into there kids too easily these days. I have lost count of the number of times I have had the discussion with my 10 year old that he cant play COD, even though I am reliably informed that its not fair and all my mates do.


Please note I am not against violent video games. I play them myself everynow and again. I just dont let my kids play un age appropriate games


Let him play with toy guns but make sure you are there to keep him away from the dark side of life. And remeber that boys are just "men in training"

Its not the guns in the UK that worry me it is the knives.



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 05:58 AM
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Here we go blame the video games the root of all evil on this rock! LoL LoL LoL some of you peeps should grow up and take a look out the window sometime!



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 06:12 AM
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when i was a kid i use to pick up a stick and pretend it was a gun and me and my mates would play cops & robbers! i still don't own a gun and i'm all grown up now!
let the kids play,but just talk to them about the subject. there not 'just' kids,they are little humans,and they pick up info like a sponge all day long.



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 06:12 AM
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reply to post by andy06shake
 


Out of my window in Mexico, I see Cartel member running around in BMW's shooting and buying police as they see fit. I see bus loads of working people being hijacked and burnt in the street. I see teenagers with guns thinking it makes them a man.

if this were 1980's UK no problem. but it isn't its 2010's central Mexico, with all the problems of the cartels and latino macho gangs. where guns are things to be played with. And I dont want want the perception of these things to be "things to play with" when I know that the exposure to the REAL thing here in mexico is not that far away (in age), when the line of distinction between play and blowing someone head off for real has not yet been fully established.

Maybe I am over perceiving the risk. But when compared to the time and place I grew up in, there is a massive disconnect,

As for pother comments here. I do not agree with wrapping them in cotton wool at all. Martial art is one the cards, as I mentioned in my OP. I will teach him to shoot myself, when he is older.

But for now, for a child of four years. is it not wiser to control the influences as best we can, or say to him, my son of four years. here go play with a gun.

I don't kow somehow I have a deep seated opposition to that how premise. It just does not feel natural to me.



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 06:17 AM
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You could allow him to play with a toy gun, but make him aware of the dangers of real ones. Or he could use his imagination and pretend he has one??? But since he is only 4, you could try to introduce him to something else which may distract him from guns.



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 06:18 AM
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reply to post by daaskapital
 


Yep the main angle, robots and dinosaur for one.



posted on Apr, 14 2012 @ 06:20 AM
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Originally posted by JakiusFogg
reply to post by daaskapital
 


Yep the main angle, robots and dinosaur for one.
Sounds like a good plan





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