My own theories on the place of toy guns haven’t been put to the test yet, but the ever wise and thoughtful blue milk‘s have:
Since that night I have been either giving up or making well-considered peace with him; I never can tell with my parenting. In my head I played with some of the moratoriums I saw other parents use: no assault rifle toys, but ninja swords and pirate muskets could be historically charming enough to be okay. I also considered the rule some parents have made about not allowing toy guns, but turning a blind eye to sticks and pieces of toast that make pew pew noises.
In the end, I’ve decided I am reluctant to make any kind of ‘play’ – particularly one that is active, imaginative and self-driven – entirely taboo. These are my new rules. I am allowing some weapon play but won’t particularly set out to buy toy guns and swords. I will accept the idea of killing as a game but I will also use this opportunity to talk about problems with and alternatives to violence. I will not stop him and his friends from playing gun games, but I will not let adult versions of the game extinguish his own imagination either. (That means limits around films, TV and computer games until he is older.)
A few years ago I would have been disappointed in these compromises. Now I am fine with thoughtful failure. I like the way parenthood turns you in on yourself and you never quite know how it will turn out; although you can feel lost and stupid, I even quite enjoy the work of figuring it out.
Read the rest of the post here, and add your own stories below, please!
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