This weekend I was posed with this thought provoking question: Would I rather have my kids play with toy guns or barbies?
One camp will say, “guns are dangerous weapons and if your kids play with toy guns they will end up being violent and aggressive!”
The other camp will say, “barbies are dangerous weapons and your kids will end up with eating disorders and a screwed up body image!”
When I was young we played “good guys and bad guys” all the time. We had toy guns. We had toy grenades and toy bow/arrows and we’d make our own weapons out of sticks and rocks. Yeah, sometimes someone would get a little overzealous and you’d get pinged with a rock to the head. Now, I’m not saying I am okay with my kids throwing rocks at peoples heads, so don’t all jump on me for that. But kids tend to do stuff like that and they don’t typically end up being mass murderers.
Kids can turn ANYTHING into a weapon. And I think it is LUDICROUS when young children get suspended or expelled for pointing a chicken nugget at their teacher and saying “bang bang”. Really? Was there a REAL threat of harm there? Did the teacher feel that because a YOUNG CHILD pointed a chicken nugget at them that they would then go home, get a real gun and come back and shoot them?
My daughter didn’t watch any news of the Sandy Hook shooting and we didn’t talk to her about it because she is 3 and doesn’t need to be terrified. We focus on following teacher directions in an emergency. All of a sudden she is coming home and telling me; “I can’t say “pow pow” at school”. Well, until that moment she’d never said “pow pow” ANYWHERE.
Good job school- now you have just about guaranteed my daughter is going to say “pow pow” at school.
Believe me, as a school administrator I understand guns in school is nothing to joke about or take lightly, but you also need to be realistic and reasonable.
So would I let my child play with toy guns? I won’t encourage it because I don’t necessarily want her engaged in make pretend violence. But will she get in trouble for it? No. The key here is to communicate with your kids and let them know that we never want to hurt our friends for real.
And the barbie debate. As one that grew up with my own body image issues leading to eating disorders, I can say that barbie had pretty much nothing to do with it. I had a few barbies, but I didn’t have much interest in them, other than cutting off all their hair and dismembering them. Because I had a brother who liked to break stuff and that’s how we played with them. Nowadays they talk about how if barbie was “to size” it would be completely unrealistic and having kids play with barbies sets up unrealistic body expectations.
Whatever. I just don’t buy it. Pretend playing with toy guns (and especially with toy chicken nuggets) does not create violent kids. Playing with barbies is not going to screw up your kids body image. IF YOU TALK TO YOUR KIDS about why real guns are not okay to play with and hurting people is never okay. IF YOU TALK TO YOUR KIDS about how being healthy and getting exercise is what is important and it’s not about having a size 0 waist like a barbie.
I mean, if your kids play with a my little pony are they going to think horses talk…and are pink?
Talk. To. Your. Kids.
I mean, my daughter was playing with her “water balloon family” this weekend. Yep, she thinks dolls are “gross”. But she does like for us to fill up water balloons and then she names them and plays “family” with them.
Yesterday one sprung a leak and she said, “oh no, grammy’s peeing!”.
And then proceeded to aim the water into her mouth.
So, hopefully my daughter won’t grow up to be a pee drinker!
So what about you all? Barbies or Guns?
Have a great crazy day!