Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What do these things have in common - ANSWERED

Marble Works pieces
cardboard packaging
vacuum cleaner hose
Bristle Blocks
toy boats

Leave your guesses in the comment section. I'll post the answer tonight.

****If you haven't read the other guesses, I highly recommend it**** There are some new faces and funny guesses - more creative than I could ever be!

I almost labeled this post 'brotherbear' right away as a clue, but thought that might give it away. You see, our son, our sweet, gentle boy, has at some point turned each of these items into a gun.
These benign items found around the house have been turned into weapons.
Marble Works pieces
cardboard packaging
vacuum cleaner hose
Bristle Blocks
toy boats

For the most part we don't let him pretend play in that way, but he is so imaginative that a simple activity of putting stickers on a paper becomes a full fledged war between stenciled boats and the flower stickers I gave him.

Anyone have some suggestions on how to handle this type of behavior? I know it's normal, but I'm interested in how other Christian families discourage gun play without it becoming an issue.
At Thanksgiving I had Sam come inside while his older cousins played with BB guns. You can't see his face, but believe me, he was really, really interested in what was going on out there!


APRIL January 29, 2009 at 9:44 AM  

I'm going to guess - while vacuuming Mama bear sucked up these items. But then I read the list again. I think it was busy day of creative play and adventures.

CntryMomma January 29, 2009 at 10:07 AM  

Objects that kept the lil' ones entertained . . . things that the lil' one use in creative play.


DESJ and Company January 29, 2009 at 10:09 AM  

I vote things that have been found in the toilet.

Kristi January 29, 2009 at 10:48 AM  

Things found in the mini van.

The Smiths January 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Smiths January 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM  

Things found under your toddler's pillow!!

Aspiemom January 29, 2009 at 1:21 PM  

Things the kids like to play with?

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom January 29, 2009 at 1:27 PM  

My vote: things found under the couch.

Jenney January 29, 2009 at 3:01 PM  

These are all things that you are missing...maybe you keep a list of stuff you can't find. My friend does that so that if her husband or a babysitter comes across one of the items, they can let her know and then she crosses them off the list.

Anonymous January 30, 2009 at 12:15 PM  

All three of my boys played with the same kinds of toys and made them into guns. We ended up buying guns that were orange or purple. So that it was obvious it was a toy gun. We taught them gun safety. Do not ever point them at people, real guns can kill people,.. etc. If they wanted to pretend to shoot, they could do so with the obvious toy gun, and they could shoot at other toys, bikes, trees etc. They are teenagers now and enjoy using real guns to shoot targets. It was our opinion that we would rather teach them about the dangers of a gun and guide them on how they played with toy guns. Good Luck.


Anonymous January 30, 2009 at 1:37 PM  

First off, what does being a Christian have to do with not playing with guns? Are you saying that because I let my kids play with guns that I am not a Christian?
My family and I are very strong Christians but we allow our children to play with guns if that's what they want to do. We make it our responsibility to use it as a teaching experience that guns are ONLY used for hunting or for the police and nothing else. We have found that the more you shelter your children the more they want to do what you are sheltering them from! Let kids be kids and teach them the lessons.

Andria January 30, 2009 at 6:00 PM  

I also dislike guns/gun play and feel that this is as valid a value as anything else I'd like to pass on to my kids (they also know I love Jesus, "love" sharing and taking turns, "love" healthy food [at least when they're awake], love to read...and do NOT love swear words, grabbing toys, etc. etc...)/ I think this IS a Christian issue, particularly if you feel it pertains to your OWN Christianity. I think people sometimes misuse the whole "If you keep them from it, they'll only want it more" rationale. We are the parents! We don't HAVE to let our kids play violent video games or play with guns IF these things make us uncomfortable. With everything else we teach, we operate under the assumption that teaching the negative aspects of these things is what we, as parents, are supposed to do (Don't eat candy bars for lunch. Don't sneeze in someone's face. etc.) -- so why would guns/video games/ other "peer pressure" things be any different? I have seen a lot of parents "give in" to these things for their kids, only to feel that it is compromising their ideals and regret it later.

That said, I certainly think your boy is absolutely normal for making non-guns into toy guns. (My parents never had toy guns in the house, and my mom claims that when she brought home my brother's first Legos, he instantly made a gun out of them. Did she need to go buy him a fake shotgun because of this interest? No.) I have no idea if I'm right on this, but I know that when my own children or their friends play guns, I say, "I don't like guns. We don't play with them here," and distract them with something else. I don't overreact (I don't think). And later, during our nighttime Bible stories, I explain how Jesus certainly did not use weapons, how He disapproved of violence, and how He healed the Roman soldier whose ear Peter cut off in trying to save Jesus (even to save himself, Jesus would not have hurt anyone). This makes perfect sense to my 3-year-old, it seems.

Sorry for the novel, and I don't claim to have any answers, but I think that you should feel validated in rejecting guns/gun play in your home because doing otherwise would make you uncomfortable -- and standing by in moral discomfort is not something Christians do.

(By the way, my brother is now a 23-year-old with no interest in guns whatsoever!) :)

Jenney January 30, 2009 at 9:01 PM  

Yikes to whomever "anonymous" is. Can I venture to guess it is the one of the same lovely ladies who insists on being rude on MckMama's blog? Ahem. Moving on.
This is an interesting topic. My husband is a cop and we have several guns in the house (wow, I can't WAIT to see what nice comments are left on my blog due to that statement). I also am a
.22 instructor at a Christian camp. I teach target shooting and gun safety to jr/sr high girls. I guess I can answer this from both a Christian and a cop perspective. Guns don't hurt/kill people, people and thier sin hurt/kill people. However guns can do great damage. Guns are not toys. Toy guns make them seem like toys. Boys are naturally going to make guns out of everything, it is in their genes I swear. However, we do need to set limits and tell them they are not toys. As they get older I don't think it is a bad idea to teach them gun safety and how to use them correctly. That takes some of the mystery out of them so if they were to happen upon one they wouldn't be tempted to 'play' with it. That's my Christian view, with no scripture because guns are not mentioned...but we are told quite a bit about loving others.
From a cop perspective, toys guns scare my husband very much. I honestly can say it is one of his greatest fears that he will draw down on a child who is playing with a gun that looks real and is being used as 'real'. This has happened to friends of his, and is a real issue. There are many many toy guns that look fake and would never be mistaken...but again, you are teaching them that there is a place for playing with guns. There are guns that are sold for historical play/dress up purposes that if used with adult supervision and costuming he doesn't see as a problem-never to be pointed at anything but a target. He doesn't have a big hang up on water guns, and I'm not sure why that is...its kind of confusing to me, but whatever.
I don't know if this helps or not...luckily Superboy is the only one who lives at our house and he just jumps around and yells "Superboy doot doot doot doot doot O-tay, tum det me now!" I'm sure someday he'll want/make guns to go with this act...and we'll have to cross that hard bridge when we get there.

my3sons January 31, 2009 at 7:04 AM  

I have 3 sons, and no play guns. I have never wanted them to have play guns,and they really have never pretended to make guns. A few times they would put up their hand like it was a gun, and I tell them not to do it. I explain what happens if you point and shoot a gun at someone, and they stop. They understand that is isn't something that is fun or funny to play with. I have TONS of toys in this house from 9 years of sons, and not one gun! That is how I do it, and for some reason has been fine. If we are at someones house that has play guns, they have played with them. I just don't want them in our house. The do know all about them and what they can do. They understand how important it is to not touch. We don't have any real guns, my husband doesn't hunt. We do have family members that hunt, and the kids know that they shot the animal etc. Anyway, I guess I don't have any real answer either. I'm with you, just don't like the idea of them pretending to shoot eachother! Katie

Paula January 31, 2009 at 11:01 AM  

Hum. I am the mom of an 18 year old son and 21 year old daughter. When they were little, they played with the very same toys in very different ways. The biggest example of this was the "little people" toys. My daughter, even before she could really talk in complete sentences, would play with them and make sweet little dum, de, dum, dum sounds. Her play was just very gentle and loving. When it was our son's turn to play with the same toys, he would crash the little people together while holding them over his head and make crash, boom, bang noises while watching them fall to the ground. This really was prior to the time they could really communicate with words. I really believe some things are just natural, in their genes, however you want to say that there is not much you can do about it.
My husband and I took many stands while raising our kids: no halloween, no tv that we didn't preview or watch with them, no video games, no guns, and I could go on and on. As our kids grew, some of our decisions changed. When our son began using everything imaginable for an imaginary gun, we began to deliberately teach about the dangers of guns. We began to allow him to play with toy guys and GI Joes who had guns. Guns aren't bad things; they are dangerous things when not used with the respect they deserve.
In a weird way, the same is true about other things, too. Take sex. If we're not careful, we can communicate to kids that sex is bad. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to "get away from" our kids hearing about things we don't want them to hear about way too young. In our society, sex is one of those. As we walk counter to culture, we have to walk a fine line between giving them the impression that sex is bad and that sex is a gift from God to be "exercised" :) within marriage. When the time came to have that discussion with my daughter, I actually used a children's Bible and read the scripture where it actually said, "Adam and Eve had sex." It had that word in the Bible! Thank you, Lord! I was able to help her see that sex is not bad but that it has a purpose that falls within marriage. At 21, she is a great kid, a committed Christian, and a purposeful virgin.
While I know that little "sex talk" digressed from your question about guns, it is an example of how as parents we have to be discerning. And, I think it's ok to sometimes change our path. When kids are young, we can walk down the path of "no, no way", but as they get older and their interest in something we've banned begins to be more obvious, we may have to teach responsibility, where our beliefs come from, why we take the stands we take, and then where sensible, allow them some control, some choice. One thing I began to realize was that I was trying to control so much of my kids choices that I wasn't allowing them to learn to make choices based on "the big picture". Granted, with little kids, their choices may be peanut butter or ham and cheese, but we do need to allow them some control. As they get older, especially in the teenage years where the dangers get bigger, they have to be allowed to make some decisions (and HOW to make decisions) or, depending on their temperament, we could be setting them up for rebellion.
I don't know how I got so "off topic" but I sure did. Back to the playing with guns and GI Joes, my son is an awesome 18 year old, very well rounded, lover of the Lord, and he no longer plays with guns - real or otherwise. :)
As Bill O'Reilly would say, thanks for the chance to "opine".

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