Sticking To My Guns (hee)

 

I’m one of those moms. 

You know the type.  Mainstream mamas who hang on to their hippie friends’ coattails and refuse to let their children have violent toys or video games.  hooters

I think I stated once that I would rather let my kids go to daycare at Hooters  than to own a play gun. No, seriously.  People actually say things like that – –  even when they aren’t under the influence of any hallucinogenic substances. But I have a true natural aversion to real-life violence.  I’m keenly aware of the preciousness of life.  And even though I understand that fantasy violence is just that – – fantasy – – I believe that it can desensitize us to the real thing over time.

So of course, it naturally follows that I would spawn a child who happens to be obsessed with all things violent and horrific.  My youngest son would give his left elbow to be allowed to play the video games that his compadres have open access to – –   God of War, Call of Duty, Resident Evil   – – they are all off limits in Topsy-Techieland.

Now I know all about preteen and teen rebellion.  My mom and dad were flower child wannabes, so I tried out my wings as a very conservative Republican for a while.  Even attended a private ultra-conservative Christian college, which really threw a cork in their plans for me.

So as a parent, I well know that putting stuff “off limits” only increases its appeal.  Thus…I have REALLY tried to be more low key on my anti-violence warpath (hee).  The other day, H-T wanted to buy a toy shotgun with his own money.  For the first time in my parenting career, I turned my head and let it happen.  He begged for a violent video game for Christmas, telling us to do all the research we wanted on it and promising to write a homeschool report about it if he got it.  I ordered the game.  He has been spending at least one afternoon each week watching old black and white horror movies on the web.  I haven’t blocked the sites.

I think I am being incredibly generous since everything in my parenting sixth sense is screaming out against these gestures of blooming independence.  But sometimes I feel like I am just giving in and buckling against my own value system. 

So for those of you who have dealt with these issues – – what conclusions have you come to?   Is it more important to stick to your guns (hee) and enforce your own values, or to allow your kids to express their personal independence and test out their own value systems? 

I would truly love to hear some mama (and daddy) wisdom and get some advice from an outside perspective…shoot away (hee).

Remember that every comment this month gets you an entry into the Big Fat November giveaway for that HP Printer!!  

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6 Responses

  1. I’m right there with you. I instinctively shrink from violence, especially realistic violence in movies, video games and music. I tried and tried to redirect the guns and swords play of his wee childhood. So of course, my son is a Star Wars nut. Hence the blog name.

    I don’t think the pure isolationist method works particularly well for life in general because, as you said, it just breeds the desire to explore that area in greater depth. Our strategy has been, first and foremost, be open and honest about violence in the world, in our community and in “entertainment”. Dad Windu or I pre-view movies that look particularly offensive so that we can talk about the material with Padawan Learner, if needed. We have a lot of discussions about the concept of “violence as entertainment” and why we feel it’s bad for individuals and bad for society. We (try to) live by example and tend to avoid violent books, movies, etc. But sometimes we do see movies that have realistic violence in them, and we talk about that too. DW saw 300, but I did not. We were open about why we made our choices.

    As PL gets older, he has more say in what he chooses to buy, play and see; and we abdicate to his judgment (well-expressed, that is) about what is and is not acceptable as entertainment. That said, there are still things that I put my foot down about and will not budge. We’ve all got our sticking point, I guess.

  2. OMG. I don’t even know where to begin. I despise all yelling, screaming, jumping up and down, shooting, cursing . . . etc . . . you get my drift. I don’t do action movies, games, discussion, no horror . . . nothing.

    Then Baby Boy is born . . . and grows up wanting to be a forensic scientist. He spends all day and night watching Tru-TV and picking out the inconsistencies in all things death related. What the heck?

    I can’t fight him on it . . . I just don’t want to be anywhere near anything that may upset my sleep pattern. I’m VERY prone to nightmares. I let him and Mom #2 discuss what’s appropriate, because it’s all evil in my book, LOL.

  3. Well, my kids are still fairly young (almost 6 and 9). Right now they’re pretty oblivious to it all. They do have Nerf guns and the older does use a BB gun (Cub Scouts), but that’s about it. I guess the key would be open communication. I can’t see us totally “banning” everything violent, but I hope by the time they get to that age, they will not be interested. Perhaps that’s wishful thinking though.

  4. My boys are older – 18 and 21. We started with a “no-guns in the house rule”. So then they would make a gun out of Lego’s, a stick or a piece of bread bitten into the right shape. I’m convinced it’s genetic. They are hunters.

    After a while, my mantra was, “no pointing anything that looks like a gun, bow and arrow, etc or has projectiles, at people or animals.”

    Boys also love to collect rocks and sticks. I can’t even tell you how many egg cartons we had full of rock collections.

    I agree that communication is the key. Just keep talking and they’ll be fine.

  5. This is so funny. I tend towards the no violence and DS has, since he has been able to insist on his own Halloween costume, dressed as some sort of military figure. I think primarily for the chance to play with guns. I got over it, but he doesn’t see realistic violence or play realistic games (but he does play lego star wars and he’s only 6).

    On the other side, he used to play with a kid whose mom allowed no violent games at all and we had to stop playing together. I spent all my time redirecting them, “No, you can’t play pirate. Pirate is violent. . . Please put down the sticks . . . No, no superheo either.” It was exhausting and no fun for any of us.

    I think a healthy, moderated, balance works. FWIW, my mom didn’t allow my brother any guns and bought my son his first light saber and is anxiously awaiting when I’ll finally allow him to play WoW (I’ve been deprigin him 6 whole years so far 😉 ).

  6. Obi-Mom – I’m still trying to figure out exactly what my sticking point is…but I know that I definitely have one!

    Mom1 – forensic science??? ick!! Those CSI shows can give me nightmares for a week!

    Karen- – but a mom can dream, can’t she?

    Laura – – our basement is like a museum for rock collecting! And we have one of those rock tumbler thingies that I made them move into the basement as well because it makes so much dang noise and it has to run for weeks at a time.

    HJD – balance? what is that? LOL. Oh, and the other present my son wants for Christmas is the new Star Wars Light Saber. So if you ever let him have it, he can come over and they can do whatever it is boys do with those things…

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