My very own website!!! Yikes!
When I was a child I didn’t play with guns. Swords: yes, but never guns.
At Zach’s preschool there seems to be a high proportion of boys and every time I visit they are anxious to show me their sticks/constructed StickleBrick guns which are hurriedly transformed to ‘water pistols’ by the staff.
Matthew and Anya are obsessed with swords (probably thanks to Minecraft) and frequently sword fight in the garden. Quite frankly this terrifies me as both of them are dangerous! But they are no different to me and my sister playing She-Ra in our own back garden as children.
We grew up with films like Star Wars and it was always the light sabers that held our fascination not the blasters. Obi Wan puts it best:
Obviously that was way AFTER my childhood! 🙂
We recently attended the Heritage Day at the Royal Military Academy and the children showed a healthy respect (if not downright fear!) of genuine weapons. I think it was very sobering for them to realise that guns and swords really kill.
With the rise in gun and knife crime it does seem wrong to allow children to brandish weapons but I also think it is a natural stage in development and part of their genetic make up. If technology were to disappear and we had to start again from scratch then the humans that will survive are those that can feed and defend themselves (I think I would be doomed!)
I am horrified by the idea of killing for sport and think the photos of triumphant rich idiots posing with their once beautiful prey are revolting. However, sanitising the skills to create proper sports like shooting, archery and fencing in the Olympics and others sports championships is a fab way to demonstrate the beauty and expertise required.
It is a sad fact of life that wars are part of our world and our history. The simplistic childhood games of good versus evil are a refreshing viewpoint and also offers hope for us all that right will win out in the end. We cannot airbrush the violence out of our past as we need it to make sense of the future.
The skill of sword play and gun or arrow marksmanship can improve hand-eye coordination and I prefer the children to be outside playing rather than slumped in front of the TV or tablet. But I am still troubled by the fun associated with causing violent injuries to others even if only pretending.
I think that toy weapons have a valid place in childhood. Children will create weapons from almost anything. It is our responsibility as parents to teach them respect for life and death so that real weapons are not required in their future.