I have a five year old daughter and a four year old son and for their whole childhood so far I have been opposed to toy versions of guns, swords and anything similar to the point where I wouldn’t even let them play with them at other people’s houses.
I’m not a hippy and I understand that swords and guns etc. exist and, in controlled circumstances, have their place in the real world but as soon as the toy versions hit the hands of my children there seems to be an explosion of energy, shouting and aggression.
However I’ve realised recently that I might have to rethink my strategy. My son is currently obsessed, and I mean obsessed, with superheroes and with superheroes come super villains and with super villains come super weapons. How does one play Batman without the Joker or Spiderman without the Green Goblin (see how fluent I am in Superhero now).
They’re taught constantly about the triumph of good over bad, being kind and helping others but how is this lesson understood by my young son in terms he can understand. Why do Spiderman and Batman hurt the baddies? Because they want to help people. Superheroes are brave and strong and they use all the means at their disposal to deliver the world from evil including webslingers, utility belts and sometimes guns.
So I’ve decided to embrace these kinds of toys, in a limited capacity. I still won’t allow swords or anything that looks like a replica of a real gun but for my son’s birthday I bought him a crossbow that shoots foam arrows modelled on one from the recent Avengers movie. We have had more fun than I care to admit chasing each other round the house and shooting each other in the bottom with it (no headshots allowed, instant confiscation will occur).
My beautiful pink sparkle Barbie loving daughter came to me on the day of her brother’s birthday and told me that she trying so hard not to be terribly jealous of his new crossbow but was there any possible way she could have one for her birthday next week? So today, I picked up the second crossbow to enter our home.
What I’m trying to say is that, like anyone, I do not like guns or violence and I try to shield my children from as much as possible but what I’m starting to understand is that children go through stages in life where they are very focused on certain things, it’s a normal part of their development. The impact of benign things that shoot in our home has been a lot of laughter and more time spent playing together as a family, how can that be bad?
- Why Moms Are Superheroes Too (lifewithoutpink.com)