Nov 7, 2008

Where Does It Come From?

I have always believed that toy guns give kids the idea that guns are OK and safe. They're not! Guns kill people; people WITH guns kill people. I am not comfortable with hunting and I think that it is wrong. I do not condemn anyone who wishes to kill animals, but it's just not something that I like or condone. Since Silas was a baby, I've asked that people not get him any toy guns. I think that they are used to display violence. Don't like it. Don't want my kids pointing guns at people and pretending to shoot them. As the years have passed, I've seen the boys make guns out of sticks...movies with shooting in them have slipped through (Star Wars) and now playing guns has become something that the boys do. They know that I don't like it, but we've come to a happy medium with it.

But now, some of the things that Silas says just makes my stomach churn. He asked me this morning if he could take his Dad's chainsaw to school to scare the kids with. He talks about what would happen if people get their heads cut off. He's been playing with an older neighbor and I am fearful that this talk is growing out of the relationship with that kid. BUT, he is the only kid around that is not one of Silas' siblings. Is it just a natural thing for boys to relish violence so much? Will he grow out of it? I really hope that this is just a phase and that the violent thoughts leave just as quickly as they came.


Mindy said...

I'm sorry I have no answers.....I will be back to see if anyone else does though. =)
And I'm wondering if I know the neighbor or not. =)

T- said...

I don't have any answers either, but just make sure you explain to him why those things are wrong when he talks about it.

Mrs. C said...

Nosy me wants to know who the neighbour is, too. :]

~LL~ said...

WOW! OK, you know my training and background. Remember about school....if you are a "zero tolerance" school, it is jumped on, straight-away.

I'm not saying that I think Silas is on board to be on the news for this type of thing. I do think boys are prone to rough-housing and a bit of violence. However, I wouldn't feel good about this at all. My kids (the 2 in school, anyway) have never wondered aloud about such things. I'm not saying it's ABnormal, but I would think concerning. Like you, I think Silas is picking up "cool" and "new" ideas from this older boy that must be stopped.

You know I don't have a problem with guns. We have several, the boys know we have them (though they haven't gone hunting yet), and the my #2 loves a piece of Bambi....(heh....that doesn't sound quite so innocent, huh?) loves a piece of venison for dinner.

Maybe talk about tools/weapons and when/how they are OK to use. For example: guns for policemen, soldiers and even hunting are acceptable and appropriate uses. But guns in the wrong hands aren't. Chainsaws? Good for trees and shrubs....human limbs? Nope. Have you asked him where he got such ideas? If he admits it's from your neighbor then tell him that the area of conversation is unacceptable and he can only play with this neighbor at your house. I don't know.....tough situation.

All that to say that I think I would be a bit alarmed if I heard my kids say that. Prayers and hugs to you as you work on this situation.

Catey said...

Wow-that's an interesting day! ;)

Boys are naturally inclined to be the hunters, and thus naturally inclined to be fascinated with these things. You've seen that in having never given your boys gun, yet watching them fashion guns out of random things. The favorites around here are biting sandwiches and crackers into gun shapes and playing target practice at lunch. : )

I think LL said it well, let him know that there are appropriate uses for these things. We teach our children when they are young (really young!) that guns are tools with appropriate uses, but that they can also be extremely dangerous and are therefore not to be played with. They understand why they need to respect them.

He may just be looking for shock value with what he's saying, or is it possible that there is someone picking on him at school that he would want to scare? He may have taken something he saw/heard at Halloween and be applying it to that. But if it were me, I would maybe listen closely next time Silas has this friend over to play and see what the conversation is like. Or you could just flat out ask him if he talks about these things often with this other boy. Just keep those lines open between he and you (and Archie) so that you always know what is going on. As odd as it sounds, it's actually a good thing that he talked to you with questions like this instead of just keeping them to himself or talking it over with a bunch of other boys, so be glad for that! But I would also say don't be afraid to let him know that that kind of talk makes you uncomfortable-and make sure you explain why!

And when you think about it, nearly every video game, movie, and a great many books made specifically for boys are saturated in violence. It's not all scary/gory violence, but Star Wars, Transformers, TMNT, is always the good guys fighting the bad guys. There is definitely a factor of "boys will be boys" in my opinion, but it of course needs to be kept within appropriate bounds.

Heather said...

well I don't like guns either. However, there are studies that show that even if a boy doesn't ever see a gun, they will pretend they have them, or make them out of things. I think it's just a natural thing to them. They were the hunters years ago,(they still are today, but I know many women that hunt too lol)and I think it is just that instict in them. Where as the instict in most girls is to "help". I would just tell him that he can not hurt ppl w/guns b/c he could get into a lot of trouble, and it's not nice.Put it in a way he will understand. AND even though some don't talk about it, I bet they wonder lol!


Lisa said...

Thanks for the comments. I know that he knows right from wrong and I know that he would never hurt anyone. I truly believe that it is just a phase that he is going through. I am grateful that he can come to me with any question/ idea atc and I hope that we can always keep those lines of communication open.

Stephanie said...

Ahh boys and violence. It's everywhere. I know it's all about war and shooting here. I don't know how to keep it from them. I don't know what to think about him saying those things. I think you should just talk to him and ask him where he got those ideas from. good luck. we're all gonna need it. I know i do.

Amanda said...

Boys will be boys... and I hate that they are drawn to such violent things sometimes. It's totally unexplainable in my opinion- other than it's just something that is hard wired into boys!

I agree with the pp about talking to him about what he's saying... it's not acceptable. But it's good that he's sharing these thoughts with you, you know?